Tactical Insights

Big FC Barcelona Star Might Renew Contract Now Xavi Has Gone

A big FC Barcelona star is now thinking about renewing his contract with former head coach Xavi Hernandez dismissed from his role according to MARCA, which cited anonymous sources.

Xavi initially announced he would step aside on June 30, only to have his head turned by President Joan Laporta and agree to stay on until the same date in 2025 when his contract expired.

A month since that April pact was struck, however, the club legend has been dismissed.

Xavi reportedly annoyed members of the board for being honest about the club’s financial predicament and how it affects being able to compete with bitter rivals Real Madrid, which has wrested back both the La Liga and Super Cup titles from the Catalans this term.

From outlets such as Mundo Deportivo, however, there have been reports about Xavi falling out with some players towards the end of his tenure.

Ronald Araujo was one of those, with the Uruguayan starting on few occasions in the last few weeks of the season with knee discomfort not as serious as it was made out to be.

Araujo’s camp have not responded to previous requests from Barca to start contract renewal talks, but those might start now that Xavi has been fired and will likely be replaced by Hansi Flick.

MARCA explains that the relationship between Araujo and Xavi “was not going through its best moment” as the 2023/2024 campaign drew to a close, and the chances of him putting pen to paper and committing what should be his peak years to the Blaugrana are now “much greater”.

That said, his continuation still isn’t a gimme. Araujo wants to see which reinforcements are brought in to make the team stronger moving forward.

If the squad remains as is, he might be tempted to accept one of the offers he has on the table from outfits such as Chelsea and Flick’s former club Bayern Munich.

Those clubs would pay the 25-year-old higher wages than Barca can currently afford, with Araujo having already agreed to receive lower pay than he could encounter elsewhere when renewing in April 2022.

What seems to be clearer, though, is that Xavi being out of the way boosts the likelihood of Araujo partnering Pau Cubarsi in the heart of defense for the foreseeable future.

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