Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Former Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez met with executives from the La Liga club Friday regarding a possible move to replace Ernesto Valverde as manager.
Sources informed ESPN FC and RAC1 of the meeting, which took place in Doha, Qatar. Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal and CEO Oscar Grau met with the former midfielder. Xavi currently coaches Al Sadd, of the Qatar Stars League.
The meeting took place after Atletico Madrid knocked Barcelona out of the Spanish Super Cup with a 3-2 victory Thursday in Saudi Arabia.
Xavi, 39, left Barcelona after the 2014-2015 season. He won eight La Liga titles, eight Cop del Rey titles, six Spanish Super Cups, four Champions League titles, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups. He made more than 500 appearances at Barcelona, after making his senior team debut for the club in 1998. Xavi had a brief playing career at Al Sadd before taking over as manager.
Valverde, 55, became Barcelona manager in 2017, after coaching several other La Liga teams. Barcelona and Real Madrid both have 40 points at the top of the La Liga table, but Barcelona is in first place with one more win than their rivals.
Barcelona signed Valverde to a contract extension in February. That pact includes an option for the 2020-2021 season. Valverde won La Liga and the the Copa del Rey in his first season with the club. He also led Barcelona to the 2018-2019 Spanish Super Cup title. Valverde entered the 2019-2020 season with 65 wins, 22 draws and six losses.
Barcelona has never won the Champions League under Valverde. The manager drew criticism after the club's exit from the 2018-2019 Champions League, when Barcelona lost 4-0 to Liverpool in the semifinals, after winning 3-0 in the first leg of the series.
Barcelona has six La Liga matches on tap before resuming Champions League play against Napoli on Feb. 25 in Naples, Italy.