It looks set that Barcelona are about to replace one former player for another in their damaged dugout.
Ronald Koeman was axed from his duties last night, following a pretty terrible tenure in charge of the Spanish side.
The Dutchman, who played for Barca between 1989 and 1995, took over the perilous job last August.
He won the Copa del Rey in his first season but finished third in La Liga with the club’s lowest points tally since 2008.
Perhaps doomed to fail following the departure of Lionel Messi over the summer, Koeman’s second spell lasted just 13 matches (very unlucky for some).
Barca are currently ninth in the Spanish top flight, six points off bitter rivals Real Madrid.
The final nail in the coffin was yesterday’s 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, their fourth defeat in six matches.
Xavi the savour?
According to the Guardian, Camp Nou legend Xavi Hernandez has been targeted as the man to douse the blazing flames.
Xavi needs no introduction to the Catalonians, nor to the footballing community.
He played 767 times for Barcelona, winning eight La Liga titles and the Champions League on four occasions.
Permitted the Spaniard leaves his managerial role with Al Sadd in Qatar, he will need to produce results instantly.
This may mean an overhaul in tactics and, more importantly, personnel.
The January transfer window is just a few months away; Xavi may already have a few targets in mind.
Or at least the board will.
Eyes on the Chelsea prize
Because of Barca’s awful financial situation, signing players on loan or as a free agent is probably their best bet.
Chelsea might be fearful of this approach, considering several of their stars fall under the latter category.
Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are all out of contract in June 2022.
They can converse with foreign sides over a move away from Stamford Bridge after the New Year unless their situations are resolved before then.
For Rudiger, leaving the Blues is becoming an increasingly likely scenario.
Which will be music to Barca’s ears, as they have reportedly already got their eyes on the German.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the defender is being considered by the fallen European giant.
As are Christensen and Azpilicueta, although the feeling is they will commit to Chelsea.
Making Rudiger his first recruit as Barca boss would certainly be a statement indeed by Xavi.
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