Laporta is working hard to convince Xavi to return to the club and replace Ronald Koeman

Barcelona are working hard to convince Xavi to return

to the club and replace Ronald Koeman as head

coach, 90min has been told.

Joan Laporta and the club’s board of directors have

put together a list of replacements who could come

in and replace the Dutchman, having already given

Koeman a dreaded vote of confidence earlier this

month.

Koeman has been unable to steady the ship since

then, with draws against Granada and Cadiz followed

by another Champions League humbling at Benfica.

90min revealed earlier this month that the board have

decided to move on from Koeman, and they have

been working hard in the background to bring in his

successor.

Catalonian sources have now confirmed that a

number of people connected to Barça are attempting

to convince Xavi to ‘come home’. The legendary

Spaniard, who patrolled the club’s midfield for the

best part of two decades, is currently in Qatar with

Al-Sadd, whom he finished his playing career with

in 2019 before taking over as manager.

He committed his future to the club earlier this

summer, signing a two-year contract extension,

despite being previously linked with the Barça job.

Indeed, before Laporta was re-elected as president,

Xavi was linked closely to one of his rivals, Victor

Font.

As a result, Laporta and Xavi are not thought to be

on the best of terms. Those around the club hope

that it won’t be an issue, but it is seemingly playing

a part in his reluctance to return at this stage.

Xavi is also believed to be worried about the work

needed at Barcelona to turn things around and

some close to the club have warned him not to

make the move. Former team-mate Luis Suarez is

among those to have warned him against returning, telling Spanish publication Sport in an interview that

would be a mistake.

“At Barça there is a war that hurts the players,”

Suarez remarked. “I personally recommend Xavi to

wait. This is not the ideal time to get to the club.

He’s smart he has to wait a moment.”

While Xavi is the man that Barça want, the club are

working on other options – and they are not short of

ideas. However, persuading someone to take over

from Koeman is proving problematic.

Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers, Imanol Alguacil,

Andrea Pirlo and Erik ten Hag are among those who

have been discussed within the corridors of power,

but Laporta is also working hard on interim options.

Special advisor Jordi Cruyff has already downplayed

his interest, but one name emerging as a contender

is Giovanni van Bronckhorst. A former Barcelona

midfielder, the Dutchman has previously enjoyed a

good spell in charge of Feyenoord before a stint in

China with Guangzhou R&F. He was even linked with

the Netherlands national team job before Louis van

Gaal returned to the post.

Two other names rumoured to be in the mix – Phillip

Cocu and current Barcelona B coach Sergi Barjuan

– are unlikely to be offered the role at this stage.

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