Xavi Hernandez will return to Barcelona as general manager next month if Victor Font is elected as the club’s president on Jan. 24.
Xavi, 40, left Barca in 2015 and is the coach of Al-Sadd in Qatar but has always been open about his desire to return to Camp Nou one day.
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Font explained on Wednesday that his plans for Barca’s future, which include bringing in Jordi Cruyff as sporting director, have been drawn up with the help of Xavi.
“As [general manager], Xavi will ultimately take responsibility for all the decisions taken related to football at the club,” Font said at a news conference.
“He has everything needed: he can manage, he can lead, he has the trust of the players, he knows the club and he loves the club.”
Xavi turned down the chance to replace Ernesto Valverde as Barca coach last January and it has long been expected that when he returned to Catalonia it would be in that role.
Font said he eventually sees Xavi combining the two roles but added that boss Ronald Koeman deserves to be backed for now.
“We have to show confidence in Koeman, we’re halfway through the season,” he added.
“The problem is the absence of a project. But if things go badly with Koeman, Xavi will be the coach next season. The two roles are compatible, like Alex Ferguson’s role at Manchester United.”
Font is one of nine candidates hoping to be elected as the successor to Josep Maria Bartomeu as Barca president.
Another of the candidates, Emili Rousaud, announced on Wednesday that the agent Josep Maria Minguella, who helped bring Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona to Barca, will be his vice president if he’s elected.
Minguella hinted that an agreement is already in place to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland if they gain power.
“We know the conditions [to sign Haaland],” Minguella said. “I have spoken with [his agent Mino] Raiola personally and if Rousaud wins I will phone him the next day and accept them — if the sporting director signs it off.”
Minguella also said he has sounded out Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, who he pushed for the club to sign in 2018 when Neymar left, but said a deal for the France international would not be straight forward.
“It is a little more complicated because his contract ends the next year . But we are on top of the issue and movements have already been made. We are there.
“Mbappe’s name was always going to come up. His name was on the table when Neymar left but the sporting director decided [Ousmane] Dembele was more necessary.”