Barcelona name B-team boss Sergi Barjuan as interim head coach amid Xavi links

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Barcelona B boss Sergi Barjuan has been named interim head coach of the first team at the Nou Camp.

The LaLiga giants sacked Ronald Koeman after Wednesday’s defeat at Rayo Vallecano and, according to multiple reports, have lined up former Barca midfielder Xavi to replace the Dutchman on a permanent basis.

But while the club are said to be working on securing a deal for the current Al-Sadd boss, they have promoted Barjuan to first-team duties on a temporary basis.

A club statement read: “FC Barcelona hereby announces that Sergi Barjuan, the current coach of Barca B, shall be taking provisional charge of the technical management of the senior squad.

“His interim position as first-team head coach shall end as soon as the club has hired a full-time head coach to replace the dismissed Ronald Koeman.

“FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta shall be officially introducing Sergi Barjuan to the first-team squad this afternoon before the training session at the Ciutat Esportiva.”

Koeman was already under pressure after his side lost to Real Madrid at the weekend and the midweek loss – their fourth in their last six matches – proved the final straw for the board.

Ronald Koeman was sacked after Wednesday's defeat
Ronald Koeman was sacked after Wednesday’s defeat (Manu Fernandez/AP)

Barca currently sit six points off LaLiga leaders Real in ninth place after 10 games.

Koeman enjoyed a huge amount of success as a player at the Nou Camp, winning four LaLiga titles and the European Cup during a trophy-laden spell at the beginning of the 1990s.

The lure of returning to his old club proved too strong back in August 2020 with the Dutchman leaving his post as Holland boss to complete a shock return.

An up-and-down first campaign saw Barca win the Copa del Rey but ended in disappointing fashion as they finished third in LaLiga having also lost heavily to Paris St Germain in the Champions League last-16 stage.

Lionel Messi left Barcelona for Paris St Germain in the summer
Lionel Messi left Barcelona for Paris St Germain in the summer (Julien Poupart/PA)

With the club’s financial situation causing problems, Koeman could only watch on as Lionel Messi departed for PSG after he was unable to sign a new deal due to the ongoing issues off the pitch.

A poor start to their Champions League campaign, where they suffered defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica, increased the scrutiny on the ex-Everton boss, who then saw their LaLiga form drop off.

It appears Barcelona are hoping a fellow former club great will prove a better fit for the head coach job.

  • 8 LaLiga titles (1998-99, 2004-05, 05-06, 08-09, 09-10, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15)

  • 4 Champions Leagues (2005-06, 08-09, 10-11, 14-15)

  • 3 Copa del Reys (2008-09, 11-12, 14-15)

  • 2 FIFA Club World Cups (2009, 2011)

  • 2 UEFA Super Cups (2009, 2011)

  • 6 Spanish Super Cups (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)

Xavi won 25 major honours during his playing career with Barca, and his tally of 767 first-team appearances has been beaten only by Messi in club history.

He left Barca in 2015 and moved to Al-Sadd in Qatar, who gave him his first managerial role in 2019.

The 41-year-old led the club to three domestic cups in his first full season in charge before lifting the Qatari title in the 2020-21 campaign. Al-Sadd are currently unbeaten in 34 consecutive league games.

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