BARCELONA legend Xavi has long been tipped to return to Camp Nou one day as manager.
And with Quique Setien coming under fire at the moment, Barca’s former No6 has once again outlined his vision for his boyhood club.
The Catalan, 40, is currently manager of Al-Sadd in Qatar, where he finished his playing career following his 2015 departure from Barcelona.
He recently told Sport: “The biggest hope I have now is to be Barca coach and get Barca back to winning ways.
“Not me but these players and Barca triumphing. And as a consequence, our technical staff, who are preparing for it a lot and it makes us really excited.”
But what would he do with the team if he were to take over this summer?
Let’s take a look at how Barcelona could look next season with Xavi at the helm.
The king of tiki-taka, who has had the ways of Johan Cruyff ingrained in him since he arrived at La Masia aged 11, you can expect his new look Barca to play a classic possession-based 4-3-3 formation.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the perfect goalkeeper for this style of football, boasting as good ability with his feet as any stopper in the entire world.
Fellow La Masia graduates will be useful, just as they were for Pep Guardiola, as they will fully understand the ways of Barcelona.
For this reason, Sergio Roberto can get the nod at right-back – while the club already have the perfect long-term replacement for Jordi Alba at left-back.
You may have seen 20-year-old Juan Miranda feature against Spurs last year, but if not, he is an extremely talented home-grown zooming wing-back currently on loan at Schalke.
He can return to play a big part under Xavi – while veteran Gerard Pique can partner Clement Lenglet as ideal ball-playing defenders at the heart of the defence.
A new-look tiki-taka trio
As the last remaining piece of the legendary Guardiola midfield, Sergio Busquets can play a key role for his former midfield partner at the base of the midfield three.
His experience can help young Frenkie de Jong as he enters his second season at Barcelona – while the new-look trio could have a surprising third member…
Tanguy Ndombele hasn’t hit the heights at Tottenham this season, but under a manager that admires him and given the freedom to express his remarkable skills with the ball – he could be perfect at Barcelona.
Making the most of Messi
The front three will need to be addressed, with big-money recruits Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho all having failed to sufficiently freshen things up in recent years.
Getting these decisions right will be crucial in making the most of Lionel Messi’s final peak years – and the first step will be to somehow cobble together a package to bring Neymar back.
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
The 28-year-old clearly wants to return, and his relationship with Messi would be pivotal to renewed success.
The final measure will be to replace the ageing Luis Suarez, and Argentine Lautaro Martinez is the No1 striker target this summer – with the 22-year-old having crashed in 17 goals for Inter Milan this term.
Finally, Xavi will offer encouragement to youngsters looking to follow in his footsteps in graduating from La Masia – so expect even more opportunities for the likes of Ansu Fati, Riqui Puig and Alex Collado.