Ronald Koeman dismissed, in the sports area of Barcelona they negotiate with Xavi Hernández so that he becomes the new Barça coach. For days, the president, Joan Laporta, has started talks with the former Barça captain, who, according to sources close to the Catalan board, has already begun to prepare to take the reins of the Camp Nou. Xavi, however, leads the Qatari Al-Sadd. And he does not want to end his relationship abruptly, as he has a current contract and is one of the ambassadors of the next Qatar 2022 World Cup. While waiting for Xavi, the sports management confirmed this morning that Sergi Barjuan, coach of Barça B, He will act as interim coach in the next matches, essentially Tuesday’s important duel against Dinamo in Kiev, after Barcelona reaped two defeats and one victory in Group E of the Champions League. Before, the team receives Alavés on Saturday.
Barcelona and Xavi have been polishing different aspects of what their bond will be. The club, for example, has already accepted that the ex-flyer lands at the Camp Nou with his brother as an assistant, plus his physical trainer and his group of scouting. Barça, in any case, does not want to revolutionize the entire football area in the Ciudad Deportiva as the current Al-Sadd coach wanted. One of the possibilities that Barcelona is contemplating is that Xavi will take over the team after the next national team break (from 8 to 14 November). In that case, he would lead his first game in the derby against Espanyol on November 20. Instead, another alternative is to wait until Christmas break.
The sports management, meanwhile, transferred Sergi Barjuan from the Johan Cruyff stadium to the Camp Nou. The area directed by Mateu Alemany opted for the former Barça defender instead of Albert Capellas, who had worked for Barça B between 1999 and 2003 and who returned to Barça this summer at the hands of Jordi Cruyff after serving as coach of the sub -21 from Denmark. It will be Barjuan’s fifth experience in a first team after leading Huelva (2012-2014), Almería (2015), Mallorca (2017) and Hangzhou Greentown (2017-2019). After the club fired García Pimienta, this summer Barjuan returned to Barcelona after participating in the Laporta campaign. At first, the idea was for him to act as a liaison between the first team and the board, but eventually he took over the subsidiary. The one who was discarded to train the team was Jordi Cruyff. Beyond the fact that when he signed for Barça Laporta he presented him as a wild card, Cruyff was in charge of ruling out that option, especially because of the friendship relationship that binds him to Koeman. “It would be an ugly replacement for Ronald. I have principles, “he said in an interview in July.
Since Laporta won the election in March, Koeman has been on the wire. The president was never convinced to support the Dutch in command of the Camp Nou. After the hard defeat in the Champions League against Benfica in Lisbon (3-0), Laporta called on his close people urgently. The idea was to replace it. And Koeman was already seen outside. However, after a heated conversation with the Dutchman, Laporta decided that he should stay in office. “It is a situation that can turn against you,” they warned him from his surroundings. Barça lost to Atlético (2-0) and between the break and the victories against Valencia (3-1) and Dinamo (1-0), the Dutchman took oxygen. But the defeat in the classic (1-2) and the fall against Rayo (1-0) left him on the wire again. However, what ended up precipitating Koeman’s goodbye were his statements in Vallecas. “I am concerned about the effectiveness, but not about the game. We have created chances and we have been at a high level, but, in Spain, playing well does not count ”, defended the now former Barcelona coach in the Rayo field. Koeman’s response ended up irritating Laporta.
The coach, who did not have the support of the directive, had also lost the confidence of the dressing room, who each day looked more suspiciously at his tactical decisions and the few solutions he offered them during the games. Barcelona does not find peace. To his delicate economic situation – he has to pay 12 million of the settlement for Koeman, when he still owes four to Quique Setién -, he adds the sports crisis. Since Guardiola’s goodbye in 2012, three presidents have passed through the Catalan entity (Sandro Rosell, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Joan Laporta), two management boards (Ramón Adell and Carles Tusquets) and six coaches (Tito Vilanova, Tata Martino, Luis Enrique , Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setién and Ronald Koeman).
Never, however, the departure of one of the last coaches had occurred in the month of October. As when after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid fired Julen Lopetegui on October 29, 2018, Barcelona cannot digest Messi’s goodbye and fired Koeman on October 28. He did it at dawn, on a plane and before the emergency meeting between Mateu Alemany (football director); Ramon Planes (sports director); Rafa Yuste (sports vice president); Jordi Cruyff (advisor) and Laporta, this morning to finish finding the interim coach, while they wait for Xavi.