Barcelona has other options besides Xavi: Club president Laporta

Barcelona sacked Ronald Koeman following a 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano, replacing him with Sergi Barjuan as interim manager.

The 41-year-old Xavi is currently coaching Qatari club Al-Sadd, a team he joined after leaving Barcelona in 2015 following 25 titles in 17 seasons.   -  REUTERS

Barcelona is considering other possible coaches besides former player Xavi Hernandez to take over for the fired Ronald Koeman, the club's president said Friday.

Joan Laporta faced a barrage of questions about the widespread speculation linking Xavi to the position. Each time, he lauded the former midfielder while not revealing details of the job hunt.

“The name of Xavi is all over the news but Barça has other options,” Laporta said, without naming names.

 

“I have never changed what I say about Xavi. One day he will become the coach of Barcelona. What I don’t know is when,” Laporta said. “It is true that the scouting reports we have on him are very good. All the inputs and news we have on Xavi are good, even though he has not been coaching a long time.”

The 41-year-old Xavi is currently coaching Qatari club Al-Sadd, a team he joined after leaving Barcelona in 2015 following 25 titles in 17 seasons. He played for Al-Sadd until becoming the team's coach in 2019.

RELATED | Barcelona appoints Barjuan as interim coach to replace Koeman

Xavi's former manager, Pep Guardiola, however, said on Friday that he had no doubt that Xavi would be a fine manager if given the job.

"I don't know what will happen. I'm pretty sure sooner or later it will happen... in case it does... I don't have any doubts he's ready to do the job," he said.

"He knows the environment which is so important in this role. He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now than I had when I took over from the 'B' team at Barcelona."

"Koeman knows and Sergi knows and Xavi knows and I know, success depends on the quality and the commitment and the players. People still forget, we are responsible for everything, but our influence is more minimal than people believe," he added.

Koeman was let go on Wednesday following a 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano that left Barcelona in ninth place in La Liga.

Barcelona promoted reserve team coach Sergi Barjuan the next day to act as caretaker coach. Laporta said Barjuan will be in charge for Saturday's home game against Alavés and possibly next week's Champions League match at Dynamo Kyiv.

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