Rafa Marquez to return to Barcelona as U19 coach - sources

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Rafael Marquez is set to return to Barcelona as the coach of the club's under-19 team next season, sources have told ESPN.

Marquez, 42, was at Barca's training ground on Tuesday to hold talks over the position at the club he played for between 2003 and 2009.

The former Mexico international will replace Sergi Mila, who took over from Franc Artiga earlier this season when Artiga landed a job in the United Arab Emirates.

Barca's U19 team (Juvenil A) feeds the B team and could yet win the title this season, although they're currently three points behind leaders Espanyol with two games to play.

The current generation of players coming through is rated highly within the club although it's likely that some of the side's better players will be promoted to the reserve team next season.

As a player, Marquez was one of the first signings of Joan Laporta's first spell as president at Camp Nou in 2003 and went on to win two Champions Leagues with the club.

The former centre-back has maintained a good relationship with Laporta since, backed his campaign to return as president earlier this year and is now set to work alongside him in a professional capacity once again.

Once finalised, he's expected to start his new role in August.

Marquez had a fleeting spell working as a coach in Spain before when he was the manager Alcala de Madrid's U16 side.

He has all the necessary qualifications to work with Barca's youngsters but sources explain he's keen to take his UEFA Pro badges as soon as possible to be able to work with senior teams eventually.