Xavi has been tipped for an immediate Barcelona departure according to Spanish football expert Terry Gibson.
Xavi announced on Saturday that he would be leaving his post as Barcelona head coach at the end of the season, in light of an upset 5-3 loss to Villarreal at Camp Nou.
Whilst his first comments in light of the announcement spoke about the need to put the club first, he followed with more damning sentiment about the Blaugrana’s senior management.
“The feeling of being Barcelona coach is unpleasant, is cruel,” he said. “You fell that many times there’s a lack of respect. You feel that they don’t value your work, and this wears you down terribly…”
Xavi won 25 major honours as a Barcelona player and is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielder of all time. He followed that up with a La Liga and Supercopa de Espana double as manager last season, but results have fallen away this term.
Here’s what Xavi said as he announced that was leaving Barça at the end of the season: pic.twitter.com/Pj4LWLYtTo
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 27, 2024
Barca in freefall
The Villarreal reverse was Barca’s third defeat in five games across all competitions, and left the club 10 points behind Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, with Girona in between the Clasico rivals.
Former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur forward Gibson, who is now based in Spain, thinks Xavi jumped before he was pushed.
“I think there’s an element of maybe Xavi’s beaten Barcelona to the punch,” he told Sky Sports News. “Their recent form’s been particularly poor. They’ve lost big games by big scorelines…
“The question now is, does Xavi last until the end of the season, or will they decide after the stand that he took last night that it may be better to chance pretty soon as opposed to waiting until the end of the season.”
Fellow former Barcelona players Thiago Motta, Rafael Marquez and Giovanni van Bronckhorst are among the names reportedly on Barca’s shortlist, while an ambition attempt for outgoing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could be made.
Barca remain more than €1 billion in red, though their debt has been restructured such that any incoming manager could make signings, although they would be largely restricted to loans like Joao Cancelo’s, or free transfers akin to Ilkay Gundogan’s arrival last summer.