The dismissal of Ronald Koeman, resolved in a matter of hours after falling against Rayo Vallecano in the League, opens the search for his replacement in Barcelona, for what seems to be a fixed name of the legend Xavi Hernández.
“Xavi for Koeman”, the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo titled this Thursday on its front page, while its competitor Sport, after talking about a Koeman “struck down”, points out that Xavi “is emerging as the new tenant of the Barça bench.”
The ex-midfielder of Barça He has been showing his desire to coach the Barça club for a long time and, according to the Spanish media, the negotiations are already underway.
Xavi Hernández, coach of Al Sadd, was champion of the Emir’s Cup last week.
“Xavi, with the agreement with Barça very advanced, is now negotiating with Al Saad to be in Kiev” in the Champions League match against Dinamo on Tuesday, states the online edition of Mundo Deportivo.
“Despite the delicate moment in which Barcelona is, the one from Tarrasa is willing to take the team. He thinks he can reverse the situation,” said Marca, from Madrid.
Xavi, who in May renewed for two years with Al Saad, did not include, according to the press, no release clause in case of being called by Barça, but the Qatari club would have assured him that he would not put excessive problems for his departure to Barcelona.
According to Sport, “Xavi’s arrival is expected to be made official in the next few hours” to replace Koeman, whose gap will be temporarily filled by the subsidiary’s coach, Sergi Barjuan.
Barjuan will be in command, until “the club closes the hiring of a new coach,” said Barça this Thursday, which last Sunday had given its support to Koeman, after being harassed by fans leaving the Camp Nou after losing 2-1 with Real Madrid in the classic league.
However, the bad results have ended up leading to the dismissal of the former Barça coach, despite the cost of his dismissal of between 12 and 14 million euros (between 14 and 16 million dollars) in a club that goes through tough financial times.
The 1-0 defeat in Vallecas on Wednesday in the 11th day of the League was the finishing touch to a start to the season marked by irregular play and a series of poor results.
“Koeman’s dismissal was inevitable. Because the decline of the team was unbearable,” Sport director Lluís Mascaró said in a column on Thursday.
Barça is in 9th league position, after getting 15 points out of 30 possible and at the same distance from the head as from relegation.
The team has yet to win on the road this season, to which is added their delicate position in the Champions League after suffering 3-0 defeats against Bayern Munich and Benfica, and only having won 1-0 at Dinamo Kiev.
Xavi and Messi, partners in a Barcelona that will remain in football history. Photo: AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE.
Arrived in August 2020 to set the course for a shaken Barcelona for their painful 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, the Dutchman has not been able to meet his expectations.
The hero of the Wembley final against Sampdoria, with a goal that gave Barça the first European Cup in 1992, would have to deal in his first season with Messi’s departure threat and the transfer of Luis Suárez to Atlético de Madrid.
In a club beset by financial and institutional tensions, Koeman, with a team in full transition, managed to finish the season third in the championship.
Koeman, fired after the loss to Rayo Vallecano. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP.
In the Champions League he fell in the second round against PSG, but he was able to console himself in Spain with the Copa del Rey, The only title achieved by the Dutchman in almost a year and a half at the helm of Barça.
His continuity in office seemed to be on the wire since the beginning of this season, as he was a technician chosen by the board prior to that headed by Joan Laporta, who, however, ended up keeping him in office.
The season did not start better than the previous one for Koeman with the departure of Messi from the team and an irregular start to the campaign whose prolongation in time, together with the lack of brilliance of his game, which have ended up sentencing the Dutchman.
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Xavi Hernández, chosen by Barcelona to rescue a sinking team like the Titanic