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Éric Abidal: We never made Xavi an offer to become Barcelona coach

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Barcelona’s technical secretary admits he spoke with Xavi but says no offer was made

Al-Sadd Sports Club v Esperance Sportive de Tunis - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Éric Abidal, Barcelona’s technical secretary, has said the team never made an offer to his former teammate Xavi to become the Catalans’ manager.

Rumors said that Barcelona had offered the job to Xavi, and it was only upon being rejected that they sought Quique Setién, who accepted the role.

“There was no offer. If he has one, let him show it, because I haven’t seen it. In the first meeting we had, Xavi listened to us, and in the second, he had to tell us his plan,” Abidal said.

The French ex-player insisted that he met with Xavi only to listen to his pitch, but never engaged in any negotiation to sign him.

Much was made about the fact that Òscar Grau, Barcelona’s CEO, was also in meetings with Xavi alongside Abidal. Some in the press took the fact that he was there as a sign that they were ready to draw up contracts, but Abidal rebuffed those claims.

“This trip was arrange to go see Ousmane Dembélé, and I sent a message to Xavi to tell him we were traveling to Qatar with Òscar,” he said.

Dembélé was recovering in Qatar at the time.

Whatever the circumstances, Xavi obviously did not become Barcelona’s coach. Instead, Quique Setién was appointed.

“The club bet on Quique Setién for two years and we trust in him a lot,” Abidal insisted.

“The door for Xavi will always be open. I’m not sure if I’ll be here, but Barça always has a door open.”