Barcelona have ‘agreed a deal with Xavi’ over succeeding Ronald Koeman as manager following the Dutchman’s sacking on Wednesday night.
Koeman was dismissed from his role after just over a year in charge after his side slumped to a 1-0 defeat against LaLiga new boys Rayo Vallecano, leaving the Nou Camp outfit a lowly ninth in the table.
AS report that club legend Xavi wants to say a proper farewell to Qatari club Al Sadd but could land in Barcelona on November 4 and either be presented on that date or the following day. The club have announced that Sergi Barjuan, the current coach of the club’s B-team, is in charge in the interim.
Xavi (left) is the favourite to take over as Barcelona manager from Ronald Koeman
Xavi is a Barcelona legend having helped them win multiple titles in his 17 years as a senior star
According to Sport, Xavi has a release clause of £840,000 that Barcelona will have to fork out, although AS say there could be a gentleman’s agreement between the manager and his bosses in Qatar to let him leave for free.
He is planning to say goodbye in his last home game against Al Ahli this Saturday.
The result against Vallecano that proved fatal for Koeman leaves Barca six points down on the top four, including fierce rivals Real Madrid.
Xavi has managed Al Sadd for two years and joined as a player in 2015 after leaving Barca.
But Barca have acted quickly to get a replacement and according to multiple reports have already agreed a deal with the 41-year-old to take over.
Fabrizio Romano tweeted: ‘Barcelona will announce new interim coach. Then it’s gonna be Xavi. He has accepted Barça project after talking with president Laporta days ago. Still waiting contract termination process with Al-Sadd.’
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It appears Koeman’s reign as Barca boss was already set to end with the club having already opened talks with Xavi weeks before his departure according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Koeman’s dismissal came as little surprise given Barcelona have suffered their worst start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign.
Having finished sixth that year, a similar season would leave them outside the Champions League and have catastrophic consequences for the club’s already fragile finances.
Koeman was fired on the flight back from a 1-0 defeat by Rayo Vallecano.
Koeman’s dismissal came following a 1-0 defeat at LaLiga new boys Rayo Vallecano
Barcelona had not lost against the small Madrid-based club for 19 years when Louis van Gaal was in charge.
The 1-0 defeat could have ended very differently had Memphis Depay not missed a penalty and Sergino Dest not blazed over from five yards out.
But that has been the story of Barcelona’s season. They have scored just one goal away from home and are yet to win on the road.
Things have been no better in Europe where Barcelona lost their first two group games for the first time in Champions League history.
Koeman’s sacking has been months in the making. The club’s president Joan Laporta openly admitted in the summer that the 58-year-old was remaining in charge because no acceptable alternative could be found.