Xavi ‘focused on Al Sadd’ in spite of FC Barcelona links

Xavi Hernandez insists he is focused on his work with Al Sadd amid reports he is set to take over as the new head coach of FC Barcelona.

FC Barcelona sacked Ronald Koeman on Wednesday following a 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano that left them six points off top spot in LaLiga.

It was the Catalan giants’ first defeat to Rayo since December 2002 and ended a run of 13 straight LaLiga victories against them.

Sergi Barjuan has been placed in temporary charge, with Hernandez expected to be allowed to leave Al Sadd next week following their clash with Qatar Stars League title rivals Al Duhail.

Asked about the possibility of an impending return to Camp Nou on Thursday, Hernandez said: “I am focused on my work with Al Sadd and I won’t talk about anything else.”

Hernandez came through the ranks at Barca and went on to provide 184 assists and score 85 times in 767 appearances for the club during one of their most illustrious periods.

The club won 25 titles which include four in the UEFA Champions League and eight in LaLiga.

He left for Al Sadd in 2015 and finished his playing career there, before taking over as coach and leading them to seven domestic trophies.

FC Barcelona face Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on Saturday and are away to Dynamo Kiev in the UEFA Champions League three days later.