Barcelona target Xavi’s Premier League plan as club icon ‘in talks’ to replace Koeman

La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit

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Barcelona are reportedly in talks with their former star Xavi about succeeding Ronald Koeman as manager. The Dutchman was finally given his marching orders on Wednesday evening after the Catalan side fell to another humiliating defeat, this time at the hands of Rayo Vallecano. 

Barca’s second consecutive loss sent them down to ninth in La Liga, which turned out to be the final straw for President Joan Laporta. 

Tensions reached an all-time high after Koeman’s car had been attacked by Barcelona supporters after last weekend’s El Clasico defeat. 

Ex-Manchester United and Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao delivered the killer blow with the winning goal in a 1-0 victory on Wednesday, and Xavi has now emerged as the front-runner to guide his former side through a rocky spell. 

The former Barca superstar has been out in Qatar managing Al-Sadd since 2019, although The Guardian claim that talks are underway to bring him back to the Camp Nou. 

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While that would take him off the managerial market for now, Premier League fans may be left intrigued by what the Spaniard told The Times back in August. 

It all started with an unsuccessful Man Utd approach while he was still a player, but that led onto a curious admission about future plans to manage in England. 

“I was focused on Barca, my priority was only Barca. I am a fan from the very inside of myself and that’s why was impossible for me to leave,” he said.

“Now I see it differently. Everyone tells me that the Premier League is wonderful, a great league to work in.

“First of all, for the passion with how they live the game. How they treat and respect you, the atmosphere and the stadiums.

“So why not? I could see myself [managing] in England, definitely, it’s one of the things I’d like to experience in my career.”

While Barcelona seems the most natural place for Xavi to be at present, the extreme high-pressure environment is not generally conducive to a lengthy reign at the Camp Nou. 

Just ask Pep Guardiola, one of the most successful managers in the club’s history whose fast and furious tenure lasted just four years. 

Koeman himself will need no reminding of the sheer weight of expectation, with a series of strange press conferences and other mishaps taking place in recent weeks. 

All that is to say, perhaps the door will be left open for Xavi to manage in England fairly soon – something that would be music to the ears of the division’s heavyweights. 

Man Utd may be rueing the fact he is not available sooner amid intense speculation that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will face the sack if he fails to turn results around. 

The likes of Zinedine Zidane, Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino have been touted as potential replacements, but if Xavi was on the market with a couple more years of experience under his belt, things may have been a lot different. 

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