La Liga giants Barcelona have opened negotiations with club legend Xavi Hernandez over replacing Ronald Koeman for the 2021/22 campaign, according to Spanish sources.

Blaugrana stint

Dutchman Koeman was of course installed on the bench at the Camp Nou last summer, on the back of Quique Setien’s dismissal.

And to say that the ex-Blaugrana star has since endured a bumpy ride back in Catalunya would be putting it lightly.

To his credit, Koeman has already secured his first piece of silverware as Barca boss, after overseeing a 4-0 drubbing of Athletic Bilbao in last month’s Copa del Rey final.

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In La Liga, meanwhile, Barcelona did remarkably to reestablish themselves in the thick of the title race over the last couple of months, on the back of a dismal opening half to the campaign.

However, when it has truly mattered most, Koeman’s men have too often simply failed to step up to the plate.

Just this week, for example, the Catalans stuttered to a costly 3-3 stalemate at Levante, essentially blowing their shot at the title in the process.

This of course came just days after Barca failed to get the job done in a meeting with table-topping Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona open talks with Xavi Hernandez over replacing Ronald Koeman

BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 16: Head Coach Ronald Koeman of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou on February 16, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Caparros – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Xavi incoming?

In turn, with Barcelona’s Champions League campaign having also come to a somewhat embarrassing end at the hands of PSG, it has not come as a major surprise to hear that Ronald Koeman’s future has emerged as a topic of serious conversation in Catalunya this week.

ESPN suggested after the club’s disappointing showing versus Atletico that an ‘internal debate’ had erupted amongst the Blaugrana hierarchy, some of whom have increasing doubts over the Dutchman’s ability to lead them forward.

And, as outlined above, the latest word stemming from the Spanish media on Sunday would appear to line up with such claims.

As per Diario Sport, citing sources in Spain, Barca have officially entered into negotiations with a potential replacement for Koeman, ahead of the summer.

The individual in question? Xavi Hernandez.

It is claimed that talks between the Catalans and club legend Xavi have begun behind closed doors, out of respect for current boss Koeman.

Despite this, word of the situation is said to have trickled down into the Barcelona dressing room.

Another get-together is nevertheless planned for the days ahead, during which Xavi, who is currently honing his managerial craft in Qatar with Al Sadd, will lay out his demands both on and off the pitch to Blaugrana president Joan Laporta.

 

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