Jordi Cruyff will meet with Barcelona president Joan Laporta this week to discuss his return to the Catalan club, sources have told ESPN.
Cruyff, 47, is still the head coach of Chinese Super League side Shenzhen FC but his contract includes a clause that would allow him to return to Barca for free if he is offered the sporting director role.
However, if Cruyff, who played for Barca between 1988 and 1994, accepts a different position at Camp Nou, Shenzhen could be due compensation.
Cruyff will take advantage of the break in the Chinese League, which doesn’t resume until mid-June, to fly into Barcelona and open talks with Laporta in the coming days.
Since retiring as a player in 2010, Cruyff has held various roles off the pitch, from sporting director to coach, for several clubs and national teams.
While he is coaching in China, Laporta would like him to take on a backroom job at Barca if he does agree to come back.
Mateu Alemany and Ramon Planes are working on rebuilding Barca’s squad this summer after Ronald Koeman’s side finished outside the top two in La Liga for the first time since 2008.
Cruyff would work alongside them, with sources telling ESPN the Dutchman is keen to return to Barca for “professional and personal reasons.”
Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN that Shenzhen are already working on a contingency plan. Cruyff’s No. 2 Carlos Garcia was considered as an option to take over, but Juan Carlos Granero has emerged as the favourite to replace Cruyff, according to reports in the Chinese media.
Cruyff’s legacy with Barca extends beyond 54 first-team appearances. His late father, Johan, is a revered figure at the club for his time as a player and, later, as the coach of the “Dream Team” that helped the Blaugrana win their first European Cup in 1992.