Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona Decides Xavi Head Coach Replacement, Reports Cadena SER

FC Barcelona has decided which coach it wants to replace under-pressure manager Xavi Hernandez, according to the El Larguero program on Cadena SER.

The radio station’s reporter Manu Carreno explained that Xavi will be dismissed at the end of the season if it finishes trophyless for the Blaugrana, which is something president Joan Laporta hinted at last month.

During an interview with the EFE news agency, Laporta was reminded of a 2021 statement when he said that there would be “consequences” for losing.

“There are always consequences for losing,” Laporta said. “If we don’t win trophies this season, we’ll have to make decisions, the ones the club needs most, depending on what has been done.

“The thing is, we’re alive in all the competitions,” he went on. “We aspire to win all the competitions, all the ones we are participating in. Now we have the Super Cup and we will start the Copa del Rey against Barbastro.”

Around five weeks since those remarks were made, though, Barca’s situation has altered dramatically.

They lost the Super Cup final in brutal fashion after being thrashed 4-1 by bitter rivals Real Madrid, and were then knocked out of the Copa quarterfinals on Wednesday when Athletic Bilbao beat them 4-2 in extra time.

Xavi had also previously agreed with Laporta by saying that he would walk if the objectives of lifting a major trophy weren’t met – something that seems unlikely now given an eight-point deficit in La Liga and the difficulty of going all the way in the Champions League.

In San Mames, though, he tweaked this message by stating that his team no longer being competitive would spark his resignation.

According to Cadena SER, however, it is indeed the failure to grant silverware that will push Laporta into dismissing his tactician, with a replacement already lined up.

This is none other than ex-Barca, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta, who is currently doing an excellent job at Bologna.

The Brazilian is said to be “very much to the liking” of Laporta, who sees him as a replacement for Xavi.

Now it remains to be seen how Barca finishes the season, and whether he is indeed shown the exit door after what would then be almost three years at the helm.

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