Xavi Hernández to stay on as Barcelona head coach in dramatic U-turn

<span>Xavi Hernández is set to continue as <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Barcelona;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Barcelona</a> manager after talks with Joan Laporta on Wednesday.</span><span>Photograph: Alberto Gardin/IPA Sport/</span>

Xavi Hernández has reversed his decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the season and will stay on as head coach after talks with the club president, Joan Laporta, and board members on Wednesday.

“Xavi will stay, he’s really happy and excited,” the Barcelona vice-president, Rafa Yuste, told reporters outside Laporta’s home, where discussions had taken place. “We’ve never opened talks for any other coach,” Yuste added. “[Barça director] Deco trusts Xavi, it’s guaranteed”. Xavi met face-to-face with Deco earlier on Wednesday, with Laporta pushing to keep the head coach on board beyond the summer.

Related: Bellingham settles clásico with Real Madrid’s winner against Barcelona

The 44-year-old had previously announced his departure after a 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal in January. Despite being under contract until the end of next season, Xavi had been expected to leave the Camp Nou before the end of June this year – but has now made a dramatic U-turn.

The club are expected to make a formal announcement soon to confirm that Xavi will remain in charge next season, continuing in the post he has held since November 2021. It is not clear at this stage whether his contract will be extended beyond its current end date of June 2025. Laporta is set to provide more information at a press conference on Thursday.

The former Barcelona captain had insisted the club needed a “change of direction” and that he could “not allow the situation to continue” when he first revealed his intention to step down. “You often feel there is lack of respect, you feel that your work is not appreciated,” Xavi said in January.

Sunday’s controversial 3-2 clásico defeat to Real Madrid was Barça’s first in La Liga since the loss to Villarreal that prompted Xavi’s announcement. The team are second in the table, 11 points behind Madrid, and went out of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals.

Bayern Munich are in talks with Ralf Rangnick about replacing Thomas Tuchel as the club’s manager. Rangnick, who will take charge of Austria at Euro 2024 this summer, has confirmed that Bayern have contacted him.

The former RB Leipzig and Manchester United coach is in concrete discussions with Bayern, and wants to know key details about the project, signings and long-term plans before making a decision.

In Ligue 1, Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé both scored twice as PSG won 4-1 at Lorient. Luis Enrique’s side still have to wait to confirm the title, however, after second-placed Monaco beat Lille 1-0 at home.

Atalanta will face Juventus in the Coppa Italia final after beating Fiorentina 4-1 in the second leg of their semi-final to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit. Ademola Lookman and Mario Pasalic struck in stoppage time for the hosts to earn their third final appearance in the last five years.