BARCELONA – Barcelona has decided to change the coach but will not make the decision to dismiss Ronald Koeman until the conclusion of the game that will be played on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atlético de Madrid, and in the race to succeed him Xavi Hernández is placed as the top favorite.
Joan Laporta held a meeting at dawn, after the arrival of the expedition from Lisbon, with the sports vice president Rafa Yuste, the soccer director Mateu Alemany and his personal advisor Enric Masip in which it was resolved, confirmed a source from the club to ESPN, not make “any hot decisions” and assess the course to take in the next few days.
This Thursday the media expectation around the Barcelona offices was absolute, but from the entity itself it was assured that no other meeting had been planned to discuss the future of the coach, despite the fact that the top managers coincided in the building, and that probably the technician would remain in office until the weekend.
Koeman admitted in the press room of the Da Luz stadium that he did not know the intentions of the Barça leaders, showing himself for the first time aware of their position of absolute weakness and waiting for a dismissal that other sources confirmed to ESPN is the majority position among the board of directors, whatever that happens in the duel against Atlético.
Expelled in Cádiz and sanctioned for two games, the Dutch coach will not be able to sit on the bench on Saturday in which he ventures his farewell night while around the club the names of candidates to succeed him multiply.
Andrea Pirlo and Marcelo Gallardo joined the list with which sports officials work at the Camp Nou, although Xavi Hernández is still the coach with the most consensus among managers.
Robert Martinez, current Belgium coach, is also among opponents of the position.
XAVI, FAVORITE, WAITING
Barcelona, to this day, has not maintained any official contact with Xavi but knows of his willingness to join immediately, a source close to ESPN told ESPN, explaining that despite maintaining a contract with Al Sadd until 2023 and There is no exit clause, he has “a tacit agreement” with the leaders of the Qatari club to terminate his contract.
The Catalan is willing to take charge of Barça in the current crisis situation, adapting without problems to a very tight salary and arriving accompanied by a small group of collaborators, as long as he receives all the guarantees of independence and support for a long-term project term.
To do this, beyond contacts with third parties or people close to Laporta, Xavi expects a direct and personal call from the president of Barça himself, which has not occurred and that the club does not reject could be made from next Monday, with time to deal with his signing, taking advantage of the league break for the FIFA team dates.
After two unsuccessful contacts in the past, the return to the Camp Nou of the current Al Sadd coach remains closer than ever, since Laporta is no longer reluctant to his signing and understands that it is the name that arouses the most support, also, among the fans of the club.