Barcelona to announce Vilanova exit

Club president Sandro Rosell and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta will address the media this evening to explain the departure of their coach on health grounds
By Ben Hayward in Barcelona

Tito Vilanova is set to leave Barcelona on health grounds with immediate effect, Goal understands.

Vilanova is believed to have suffered a relapse of his cancer and his departure will be announced at a press conference later on Friday.

Tito worked as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Barca B and then for four successful seasons between 2008 and 2012, before stepping up to replace his long-time friend last summer.

Vilanova led Barca to La Liga in his sole season in charge as the Catalans equalled Real Madrid's record of 100 points in the Primera Division, but he was absent for two months of the campaign after suffering a relapse.

Tito appeared tired and haggard as he appeared before the media earlier this week and will now take time out to recover once again, although sources at the club have not ruled out a return in future.

In the meantime, Jordi Roura and former Girona coach Rubi (who was appointed at the beginning of this month) are likely to take over the reins, although Barca will study the possibility of appointing a top-level trainer over the next few weeks.

The press conference is scheduled for 20:30 CET.