Barcelona icon, Lionel Messi had reportedly given his pick to the club management to replace Ronald Koeman before he eventually left the Catalan giants - with the striker endorsing former team-mate, Xavi Hernandez to coach the side.
Koeman was sacked by Barcelona on Wednesday following their 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, with the Catalan giants currently placed ninth in the LaLiga table with 15 points from 10 games, while they have also been beaten by Bayern Munich and Benfica in the Champions League.
As per Cadena COPE, Barcelona president, Joan Laporta is keen on appointing Xavi as the new manager and has already begun negotiations with their former captain. The report goes on to state that Messi, who played alongside Xavi for 11 seasons at Camp Nou, also wanted his former team-mate to replace Koeman before he ended up leaving Barca in August.
The Spaniard has in the past reiterated that he is keen to manage his former club in the future, though signing him would not be an easy task considering that he is currently managing Al-Sadd and is yet to reach an agreement with the Saudi club which would allow him to return to Barcelona.
Sergi Barjuan, who is the current head coach of Barca B, is being considered as an interim replacement following Koeman’s exit.