Xavi plays down possibility of Barcelona stay

  • Xavi has confirmed he will step down as Barcelona boss this season
  • Reports have claimed he could be convinced to stay on another year
  • Former midfielder moved to calm speculation on Saturday
Xavi will leave Barcelona this summer
Xavi will leave Barcelona this summer / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Xavi has insisted there has been no change to his decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the season.

The boss confirmed in January that he will step down this summer, one year before his contract expires, as a result of the mental stress and anguish that comes with being Barcelona manager.

Nevertheless, reports have suggested Xavi could be swayed into seeing out his contract, and the former midfielder was asked whether there was any truth to the claims during Saturday's press conference.

"As of today, nothing has changed," he stressed. "There is no more story than that. It all remains the same and we focus on the next game."

Xavi added: "It's true we’ve done well recently; I see the team training great every day and the group of players is less tense than in the past. But tomorrow is a whole new story, here at Barcelona you have a challenge every day. The moment of the truth this season is coming, and we feel we have been good over the last weeks."

Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick is a possible replacement for Xavi / Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Among those touted as a possible replacement for Xavi is former Bayern Munich and Germany manager Hansi Flick.

Sky Sports Germany state that Barcelona have already reached out to Flick about the job. President Joan Laporta is a big fan of the boss, who he tried to hire before Flick joined the German national team in 2021.

A final decision on the preferred target for Barcelona is not expected to be made immediately, with club officials keen to take their time to work out the best fit for the club going forward.

Flick is reported to be open to joining Barcelona, while 90min understands Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi is another name on the wish list.