Jordi Cruyff 'one step' from joining Barcelona technical set-up

Andrew Headspeath
The son of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff is set to return to Barcelona
The son of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff is set to return to Barcelona / Agencia Press South/Getty Images

Barcelona are close to announcing the return of former player Jordi Cruyff as part of Joan Laporta's team sitting above the head coach.

47-year-old Cruyff, who is the son of legendary Barcelona player and manager Johan, played as a midfielder for Barça in the 1990s, while he also had spells at Manchester United, Alaves and Espanyol.

Since retiring in 2010, Cruyff's itinerant non-playing career has seen him take on various roles as a coach and sporting director around the world. He is currently manager at Chinese Super League side Shenzhen FC.

SPORT report that Cruyff is now 'one step away' from re-joining Barça, after travelling to Catalonia last week for negotiations. With talks at an advanced stage, all that remains now is for Barcelona to agree an exit package with Shenzhen.

Interestingly, SPORT claim that Barcelona do not yet have a fixed label for Cruyff's role at Barcelona, but are 'convinced' of the need for him in Laporta's new org chart.

Cruyff will not be brought in as a coach nor as a typical sporting director, despite the current absence of that role at the club, and it is not expected that Dutchman will advise on transfers.

Jordi Cruyff is to be tasked with carrying on the family legacy at Barcelona / LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

However, the report claims that he Laporta wants someone he trusts who he can consult on important decisions like footballing strategy and - most interestingly with Ronald Koeman's job hanging in the balance - changing coach.

Mundo Deportivo (Barcelona's other big sports daily) takes a slightly different view however, saying Cruyff will have a say on the playing staff, and will be tasked with leaving "the 'Cruyffista' stamp on the squad."

It is said that Cruyff is a 'logical' choice because of his family name and his background, having worked as a sports director in Cyprus and (more successfully) Israel, as well as his coaching experience primarily in China.

Since the end of the season, Barcelona have already announced the signings of Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson, with Gini Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay set to follow.