Xavi says he retains trust of Laporta amid rumours he faces sack at Barça

<span>Xavi Hernández (left) and Joan Laporta in April when the president celebrated the manager’s decision to continue in his role next season.</span><span>Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP</span>
Xavi Hernández (left) and Joan Laporta in April when the president celebrated the manager’s decision to continue in his role next season.Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Xavi Hernández insists “nothing has changed” and that he still has the “same enthusiasm and ambition” amid reports that Barcelona have decided to sack him – just three weeks after celebrating his decision to perform a U-turn and continue as coach.

The Catalan, who resigned on 27 January only to change his mind on 24 April, said that no one had told him he would not be in the post next season, and that the message from the club had been one of “calm”.

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When Barcelona announced in April that Xavi would continue after all, the club’s president, Joan Laporta, said all it had taken was “three minutes” and for the two men to “look each other in the eye”. But Catalan radio has reported that Laporta has changed his mind and decided to sack Xavi at the end of the season.

The team travelled to Almería on Monday night but neither the sporting director, Deco, nor the president went with them. The latter had been annoyed by the tone of Xavi’s pre-match press conference in which he said the club’s financial crisis made it difficult to compete. Xavi had requested a meeting, but that did not happen. The president has not spoken publicly; the coach had no choice but to do so.

Speaking before the visit of Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, Xavi described reports as “stories no one has told me”. He claimed that the trust and confidence that Laporta and Deco have in him remains “intact” and that the club have “transmitted calm”.

Yet at heart what he did was pass responsibility for any new U-turn on to the president, aware that while the noise may be external it comes from inside. “This is Barça, these things happen,” he said. “I can’t say any more. We have the same enthusiasm and ambition to take on this season and next. And that’s it: calmness. I know the surroundings are noisy but nothing changes.”

He also said that the last 48 hours of rumours and briefing against him behind the scenes had not made him rethink his position. “No, no, no, not at all: I have zero doubts that things can go well with me as coach. My enthusiasm remains, and with this [noise] even more so. These are things the press said. That has not been communicated to me. What has been communicated to me is: calm, Rayo tomorrow.”

Asked if he thought that the president or people close to him were pushing for a sacking, Xavi replied: “I don’t know and I am not interested, to be honest. What interests me is that I have the trust of the president and that is intact at the moment. The president, the sporting director, the vice-president transmit calm.”