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'I call Xavi after Barcelona matches' - Laporta reveals regular talks with incoming coach

15:23 BST 29/10/2021
Xavi Al Sadd 2021-22
The former midfielder is expected to replace Ronald Koeman as head coach at Camp Nou and has a close bond with the president

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says he speaks with Xavi, the frontrunner to take over as the club's head coach, very often and calls him to discuss the team's matches.

Ronald Koeman was dismissed from his role as Barca boss this week shortly after their defeat against Rayo Vallecano in La Liga and Goal understands they have offered the job to Xavi.

Laporta insists the Al-Sadd coach is not the only candidate for the job, but admits the two have a close relationship and that he is aware of what Xavi thinks of the squad.

What has been said?

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Laporta said: "I will keep my reserve regarding the options we have and I don't want to jeopardise the negotiations, I know that Xavi's name is coming up, but there are other options.

"My opinion of Xavi as a coach is that he is fine, he is in an interesting process. I have very good references, I speak with him very often and I know his opinion about the team, but they are confidential conversations between friends.

"You could say that we have seen Barca games together because we call each other when they finish."

He added: "We appreciate each other and my opinion of him is very good. I have always said that one day he would coach Barca. 

"I trust the people around me. We will see how everything evolves. Whoever comes will have our full support, but also the highest demands, I have always said that at Barca there are no transitional years."

Xavi as a coach

The former Barcelona and Spain midfielder took over at Al-Sadd after he ended his playing career with the Qatari side in 2019.

He guided them to the Qatar Stars League title in 2020-21, having also won the Qatar Cup on two occasions as well as the Qatari Super Cup, Emir of Qatar Cup and Qatari Stars Cup. Of the 89 matches they have played under his leadership, Al Sadd have won 61.

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