'Job done': Guillem Balague claims manager linked with Newcastle is joining Barcelona
Newcastle United have been linked with a host of managers in recent weeks, and Barcelona legend Xavi is reportedly on the new Magpies owners’ radar.
Last week, the new Newcastle hierarchy opted to part company with Steve Bruce and are currently in pursuit of a new manager.
The likes of Antonio Conte, Paulo Fonseca, Eddie Howe, Unai Emery and Steven Gerrard have all been linked with the Magpies job.
And last week, Ian McGarry told the Transfer Window Podcast that Xavi, the current Al-Sadd boss, emerged as a potential target.
“One name which I find very interesting that has been mentioned to me, not that there has been an approach made as far as I’m aware of, but certainly an interest from one of the parties is Xavi Hernandez, the former Barcelona captain,” said McGarry.
“However, it has been relayed to me from someone very close to Xavi that he’s not keen to follow Koeman directly into the job at Camp Nou.
“He sees the problems – both financially and with regards to the playing squad – certainly not as insurmountable, but as certainly problematic.
“As very much a club legend and Barcelona through and through, he doesn’t want to put himself in the position of taking that job under the circumstances in which the club now find themselves.
“Newcastle United could well be a good staging post for him with regards to increasing his experience in a much superior league and also being a challenge with regards to taking a very big club on, which is not as big as Barcelona, but certainly one of the larger ones in English football.”
However, in wake of Barca’s decision to sack Ronald Koeman, multiple reports have claimed Xavi will take over at his former club.
Guillem Balague, one of the most esteemed journalists in Spanish football, claimed Joan Laporta contacted the 41-year-old on Wednesday.
“Barcelona legend Xavi will be confirmed as the club’s new manager soon,” he wrote on BBC Sport.
“Until recently Xavi, currently managing Al Sadd in Qatar, and Laporta hardly spoke to each other.
“But in football as in life, needs must when the devil drives, and recently they have built their communication, albeit through intermediaries, and are by all accounts getting closer.
“On Wednesday night Laporta made a call to Xavi. Job done.”
Xavi, who took the reins at Al-Sadd two years ago, is a two-time Qatari league cup winner.
He has also won the league title, Qatari Stars Cup, the Emir of Qatar Cup and the Sheikh Jassim Cup.
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