football

Barcelona sack Ronald Koeman with Xavi on shortlist for new manager


Ronald Koeman has been sacked by Barcelona (Reuters)

Barcelona have sacked Ronald Koeman and have included Xavi on their shortlist of possible replacements.

Barca have made a woeful start to the season under Koeman, winning just four of their opening 10 games in La Liga.

The Spanish club are also struggling in the Champions League group stage as they were beaten by Bayern Munich and Benfica before they secured a 1-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv last week.

But Barcelona’s hierarchy decided Koeman’s fate on Wednesday evening following their 1-0 defeat away to Rayo Vallecano.

A short statement from Barcelona on Wednesday night read: ‘FC Barcelona have relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach.

‘The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano. Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva.  

‘FC Barcelona wishes to thank him for his service to the Club and wishes him all the best in his professional career.’

Ronald Koeman’s fate was sealed after Barcelona were beaten by Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday (AP)

According to RAC1, former Barca captain Xavi is one of three candidates in the frame to replace Koeman.

River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo is also on Barca’s shortlist, while the club are also considering Barca B’s head coach Sergi Barjuan as an interim appointment.

Xavi is on Barcelona’s shortlist of replacements for Ronald Koeman (AFP via Getty)

Xavi, who is currently managing Saudi side Al-Sadd, admitted earlier this month that he would consider a return to Barcelona as manager.

‘Any offer will be evaluated and then a decision will be made,’ Xavi told TVE.

‘I don’t know where my future will take me, but I’m open to anything.’

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