Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, has confirmed that the club is in talks with Xavi to take over as coach – while revealing that he has begged Ronald Koeman to terminate his contract.
Nou Camp president held a press conference on Friday after naming Sergey Barguan as interim president.
But questions soon began to focus on Xavi, as the club was reported to be in talks with the club legend, who is currently in charge of the Qatari club Al Sadd.
Laporta revealed Barcelona be In talks with the former club captain.
Laporta said: “I don’t want to jeopardize the negotiations…I know the name Xavi is coming, but there are other options.
“My opinion of Xavi is that he is a good coach and he has very good references.
“I talk to him a lot – I’ve talked to him for a long time, since the election campaign. The connection has never been cut off.
“I know his opinion of the team, but it’s secret conversations between friends.
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“You could say we’ve seen matches from Barcelona together because we call each other when they’re done.
“We value each other and my opinion of him is very good.
“I have always said that one day he will coach Barcelona.
“We will see how everything develops. Whoever comes will have our full support, but also the highest demands …
“I have always said that there are no transitional years at Barcelona.”
Laporta also revealed that he tried to get Koeman to terminate his contract to avoid having to pay it off – before he was eventually forced to sack him.
“We tried to persuade Koeman to terminate his contract,” the president confirmed.
“But he was a club player, so I told him, ‘Thank you very much and good luck.'”
“I have discussed it with Xavi and others. I had to make the decision before it became public.
“I guess in fairness, I did what I could to give him a margin. Now at this point, I’m telling you I should have done it before.
“Koman deserved a margin, it was justice and respect.”
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola – who managed Xavi at Barcelona – has revealed he has no doubts about the former midfielder’s ability to take charge at the Nou Camp.
The Manchester City boss said: “Xavi, if that happens, I have no doubts that he is ready to do the job. He knows the environment which is very important.
“He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now than I had when I took office.
“Xavi is of course really good… If Xavi is the next coach, I wish him all the best and hope the team comes back step by step.”
Rivaldo, Xavi’s former Barcelona team-mate, also believes that Xavi can do a great job at the Nou Camp.
The legend of Brazil said Betfair: “Sometimes a change in coach leads to improvements as the players gain new energy, the environment changes and things tend to get better…
“Especially with the Barcelona players being somewhat affected and forced to respond as the team needs to reverse this very negative situation with poor results this season.
“Now, Xavi is coming to lead the team and I think he was doing a good job there in Qatar, although the reality in the Spanish championship is very different.
“However, he is someone who knows the club well, and has worked there for many years.
“He’s kind to his teammates and he’s shown that in his career.
“Xavi seeks to repeat the way he played in the Barcelona shirt, and this will certainly please the fans.
“I think he has everything he needs to succeed, but of course the board also needs to secure some reinforcements in the next transfer window to allow the team to grow and strengthen.
“Xavi can help save the season.”
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