FC Barcelona

Joan Laporta discusses 'possibility' of hiring Xavi as Barcelona coach

Jamie Spencer
Joan Laporta has spoken about his 'great relationship' with Xaxi
Joan Laporta has spoken about his 'great relationship' with Xaxi / David Ramos/GettyImages

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said he has a ‘great relationship’ with Xavi and confirmed the Camp Nou legend is a ‘possibility’ to replace Ronald Koeman, who was sacked this week.

Pep Guardiola has also backed Xavi to succeed if the club secures his return.

Koeman didn’t even make it back to Barcelona following the midweek defeat against Rayo Vallecano, with reports that he was informed of his dismissal on the plane in mid-air.

Ex-Barça left-back Sergi Barjuan has been appointed on an interim basis, although there is a belief that a deal with Xavi is all but agreed and all that is left to negotiated is the size of any compensation package with the Spaniard’s existing club, Al-Sadd.

“My opinion about Xavi as a manager is he is in a process learning, evolving, I have really good references from close people who know him better than me in that way,” Laporta said as he faced the media on Friday.

The president admitted the first contact with Xavi came ‘two months ago’ when the club gave an already under-fire Koeman a vote of confidence. That contact has increased more recently.

“I have a great relationship with Xavi, I have been speaking with him in the last month, I know his opinion about this squad, what he thinks has to happen. We talk as two friends and in this case my opinion is a really good one,” Laporta continued.

“I am talking to him because he loves football, he is a huge Barça fan, it is one of his goals in his life. If he is the one able to manage this squad, I have a great relationship with him and he is a possibility because we will see how everything will continue evolving.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who managed Xavi at Barça from 2008 until 2012, has also backed his former player if he indeed lands the job.

“Xavi to Barça? I don't know what will happen, but I have no doubt that he is prepared. He knows the environment, which is very important, he knows the game and he has passion,” Guardiola said.

“Xavi has more experience than I had when I became the manager.”

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