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Sources: Barca in Xavi talks after Koeman exit

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Published in Soccer
Thursday, 28 October 2021 05:35

Barcelona president Joan Laporta will hold talks with Xavi Hernandez on Thursday over the managerial vacancy at Camp Nou following the dismissal of Ronald Koeman, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Koeman was fired after Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano, which left Barca ninth in LaLiga following three losses in their last four league games.

- Hunter: Koeman sacking was inevitable, Barca are still a shambles
- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

Al Sadd coach Xavi, who made 767 appearances for Barca as a player, has quickly emerged as the first option to replace the Dutchman, with Laporta keen to know what his demands would be.

Sources told ESPN that talks will focus on what Xavi wants in terms of his coaching staff and transfers moving forward, with personal terms not expected to be a problem.

In the meantime, Barca will appoint an interim coach for Saturday's game against Alaves. B team boss Sergi Barjuan, academy director Albert Capellas and fitness coach Albert Roca have all been considered for the role.

Thursday's training session has been moved from the morning to the afternoon to give the club some time to make a decision.

Xavi, 41, has always made it clear that it is his dream to return to Barca in a coaching capacity. He left the club in 2015 for Qatar side Al Sadd, where he spent four years as a player before being appointed coach in 2019.

Since taking over, he has led Al Sadd to seven trophies, including one league title. They have won seven out of seven in the Qatar Stars League this season and are unbeaten in 34 matches dating back to the previous campaign.

He was previously targeted for the job by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu in 2020 when Ernesto Valverde was sacked. However, he turned it down because the timing was not right.

When Quique Setien was dismissed later that same year, he was again in the running for the job, but Bartomeu opted for Koeman.

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