KEY POINTS

  • Xavi is expected to take over as Barcelona's head coach
  • Barcelona recently sacked Ronald Koeman as their boss
  • As of now, their Barca B coach is the senior first's interim coach

FC Barcelona legend Rivaldo has said there is a "tough mission ahead" for incoming manager Xavi Hernandez and has advised his former teammate to make at least three new signings in January. 

Barcelona sacked head coach Ronald Koeman last month and named Barca B boss, Sergi Barjuan, as their interim manager. The club is trying to land Xavi at Camp Nou as Koeman's permanent replacement. Under Koeman, Barcelona managed only 15 points from the first 10 La Liga games and also lost their opening two group matches in the Champions League.

Rivaldo, who played for Barcelona from 1997 to 2002, has suggested that managing the current Catalans side is a tough task for an inexperienced head coach and Xavi must strengthen his squad as soon as possible.

"Xavi is about to become Barcelona manager and he has a tough mission ahead. But a few shrewd signings in the January transfer window could boost his chances of success this season. The team needs two or three new players to reinforce the squad, but Xavi will also need to get the best out of his current players, adapting the style of play to their qualities and bonding nicely with his group," Rivaldo told Betfair.

After losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich and Benfica in the Champions League, Barcelona clinched two 1-0 victories over Dynamo Kiev, with Gerard Pique and Ansu Fati scoring in the respective legs. 

"There is a lot of young talent in the squad, and they need the freedom to develop all their qualities. At the same time, Barcelona need more experienced players to take responsibility so that the youngsters aren’t overwhelmed by pressure. The team can and should utilize young players but they cannot rely on them at the beginning of their careers," added Rivaldo in the same interview.

While Barcelona are yet to reach an agreement with Xavi's current club Al-Sadd, the former Catalans captain has admitted that he wants to return home and has urged the Qatari club to let him leave. 

"I've been talking to Barca for days, it's done. But now it depends on the conversations between clubs, they need to reach an agreement. Barca is coming to talk, we are all eager and excited. We'll see if it ends up being done. I really want to go home. I hope it happens. I have a contract and now the clubs have to negotiate. They already know my position," said Xavi in a recent interview.

It has also been reported that Xavi has demanded Barcelona to sign four players, including Borrusia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, who is his top target. The other three players on Xavi's target list are Manchester United's Paul Pogba, RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo and Sevilla's Jules Kounde. 

Xavi, who is coaching in Qatar, is the favourite to take over from Koeman Xavi, who is coaching in Qatar, is the favourite to take over from Koeman Photo: AFP / KARIM JAAFAR

Xavi, who was Barcelona's academy product, remained associated with the club as a player for 18 long years. He helped the side win many trophies, including eight La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.