Less than 24 hours after Ronald Koeman was sacked just 14 months into his reign, Barcelona are said to have already found their successor.
Spanish publication Sport say Xavi was their No1 target and that the next step is for Barcelona to negotiate his release from Qatar club Al Sadd. The 41-year-old is said to have an £850,000 release clause.
For now, Barcelona announced on Thursday lunchtime that B team boss Sergi Barjuan would take charge of the first team on a temporary basis.
Xavi left Barcelona in 2015 after being a key part of the club’s golden era. He ended his playing career with Al Sadd and then became their manager in 2019, and has already led them to seven trophies, including the league last season.
Xavi has been seen as a future manager of Barcelona, and last year he revealed he turned down the chance to take over his former club.
He said he was approached after Barca sacked Ernesto Valverde in January 2020. Xavi said: “I did not agree to this offer especially as it is too early for me to coach Barcelona.”
Koeman was axed in the wake of a 1-0 defeat at Rayo Vallecano, a team that had not beaten Barcelona since 2002. Barca are ninth in La Liga, six points behind leaders Real Madrid, having lost to their rivals 2-1 on Sunday.