Ernesto Valverde will go ahead and take Barcelona training on Monday after Xavi told the club he would not be accepting the job of coach immediately, GoalBall has learnt.
The 39-year-old Xavi, who is currently in charge of Qatari team Al-Sadd, held talks with Barca’s sporting director Eric Abidal and chief executive, Oscar Grau, on Friday and Saturday.
But according to a source via AFP Sport, Grau and Abidal were returning to Barcelona on Sunday, after Xavi said he would not be giving his agreement straight away.
Xavi could yet resume negotiations in the coming days or, more likely, in the summer once the season has finished.
In the meantime, the current Barca coach remains in charge and the plan is that he will take training as usual on Monday morning.
It remains to be seen how he responds, with Valverde likely to have been unimpressed by the club’s indiscreet pursuit of Xavi.
The suggestion on Saturday had been that Xavi would make a decision as early as Sunday but the club’s iconic former midfielder wants more time.
His situation is complicated by the fact he would like to lead Al-Sadd in the Qatar Cup final, which will be played on January 17.
It would also be a daunting task to join Barcelona mid-season.
There is also the club’s political situation to consider, with Xavi believed to be key to the hopes of presidential candidate Victor Font, ahead of the club elections due next year.
Xavi is also said to want to show respect to Valverde.