Xavi left door open after Sir Alex Ferguson’s failed effort to tempt him to Man Utd

Xavi was a legendary figure as a player at Barcelona and attracted attention from Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson before knocking them back with his task now to rebuild the Nou Camp outfit as a manager

Xavi saw his Barcelona side dominate the El Clasico
Xavi saw his Barcelona side dominate the El Clasico

Xavi may have snubbed the advances of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson in the past but could one day grace English soil as a manager.

The Barcelona legend enjoyed a trophy-laden career at the Nou Camp as a player and returned earlier this season as a manager. He made 767 appearances for the Catalan giants, winning the Champions League on four occasions. Two of those successes saw them beating United in the final.

Ferguson’s side were outclassed in 2009 in Rome and two years later at Wembley with Xavi instrumental in both successes. The Scot made moves to sign Xavi, who had become a key cog in a three-man midfield alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. The World Cup winner though never entertained the idea of moving to the Old Trafford.

He told The Times : ” Manchester United approached me once through Sir Alex Ferguson’s brother, but my answer was very quick. I was focused on Barca, my priority was only Barca. I am a fan from the very inside of myself and that’s why was impossible for me to leave.

“Now I see it differently. Everyone tells me that the Premier League is wonderful, a great league to work in. First of all, for the passion with how they live the game. How they treat and respect you, the atmosphere and the stadiums.

“So why not? I could see myself [managing] in England, definitely, it’s one of the things I’d like to experience in my career,” concluded Xavi, who plotted an El Clasico masterclass on Sunday night, presiding over a 4-0 win against Real Madrid on Sunday night. Former Arsenal man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted twice at the Bernabeu as Barcelona’s renaissance gathered momentum.

Xavi replaced Ronald Koeman in November after beginning his managerial career in the Middle East with Al Sadd. Barcelona are adapting to life post-Lionel Messi and had been in danger of missing out on the top four. Now, after a January of recruitment, the club appear to be firmly on the rise.

Xavi helped Barcelona dominate Man Utd in two Champions League finals

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Xavi said after the win: “We could easily have scored five or six. We changed the negative dynamic of losing the last few Clasicos. It’s a day to enjoy, not only as a Barça manager, but also a fan.” He continued: “We have worked hard for these results. But we didn’t expect to be so superior in their stadium. We expected a more open game. I am very happy. We have to keep working. It’s not a trophy. We have to be humble.”

Xavi’s role as a midfielder coupled with his tutorship under Pep Guardiola as a player has seen him highlighted as a continuation of the club’s philosophy. The 42-year-old is early in his project at Barcelona and is expected to continue shaping the squad this summer.

However, as Guardiola declared upon his exit, four years is a long time in charge of the Spanish side such are the demands. That could mean we one day see Xavi in the Premier League should he seek a challenge elsewhere – after all, he has already been sure to keep the door ajar to that possibility.

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