Barcelona never made an offer for Xavi to replcace Valverde - Abidal

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal says no formal offer was made to Xavi over the recently available managerial post at the club.

The legendary former midfielder, now managing in Qatar with Al-Sadd, was widely reported to have been Barca’s first choice to replace Ernesto Valverde as manager after he was removed from his post in January.

Barca eventually opted to appoint former Real Betis boss Quique Setien, but Xavi had at one point seemed destined for the role, with some claims that he turned the Blaugrana down.

Abidal rejects that notion, telling Sport: “There was no offer. If he’s got one, let him show it because I haven’t seen it.

“In the first meeting we had, Xavi listened and in the second, he had to tell us his plan.

“What came out in the media was more political than sporting. I don’t do politics. I only talk football.

“What interests me is the way a coach works and many things came out apart from what we talked about.”

Setien has had a mixed start to life in the Camp Nou hotseat, with performances and results remaining inconsistent during his first five matches at the helm.

Narrow wins over Granada, Ibiza and Levante have sandwiched a 5-0 thrashing of Leganes and a 2-0 defeat at Valencia, and relationships behind the scenes have become fractious, with Lionel Messi openly criticising Abidal on Tuesday over remarks he made regarding the players' attitudes in the lead up to Valverde's sacking.

Ansu Fati Barcelona 2019-20

In the meantime, Xavi’s Al-Sadd side have lifted the Qatar Cup and won their last three league games.

Nevertheless, Abidal suggested he did not think Xavi had enough experience to take on the Barca job just yet – but he was not overly bothered by press speculation linking him with the role.

“Annoyed? No. I did my job,” he said.

“I stuck with a couple of coaches and nothing leaked. If anything did, I did it the same because it’s my job. It’s impossible to sign a coach without speaking to him. After that, whatever leaks leaks.

“He doesn’t have that much experience. It’s true he’s from here. It could be his moment, or not.

“The club bet on Quique Setien for two years and we believe in him a lot. The door to Xavi is always open. I don’t know if I will be here, but Barca always have the door open.”