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Xavi to make sensational U-turn on Barcelona exit?

Xavi to make sensational U-turn on Barcelona exit?
© Reuters
Barcelona manager Xavi is reportedly giving serious consideration to reversing his decision to leave the club at the end of the season.

Barcelona manager Xavi could reportedly make a sensational U-turn on his decision to exit Barcelona after affirming for months that he would not change his mind.

The Blaugrana are on the verge of ceding their La Liga crown to El Clasico rivals Real Madrid, who opened up an 11-point lead at the summit with a dramatic 3-2 triumph at the weekend.

A difficult run of form over the winter months scuppered Barca's dreams of back-to-back triumphs, and Xavi astonishingly announced his resignation after a 5-3 loss to Villarreal in January.

In the wake of Xavi's press conference bombshell, Barcelona went on a 12-game unbeaten run in all competitions, leading to suggestions that the 44-year-old could be tempted to reverse his decision.

However, Xavi has always shot down the idea that he could stay, repeatedly insisting to the media that he will be leaving no matter what, and the Blaugrana have now lost their last two games to Real and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 4-1 defeat to the latter knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, but president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco have affirmed that the door remains open for Xavi to have a change of heart.

Barcelona coach Xavi on April 10, 2024© Reuters

Xavi 'agrees to meet with Joan Laporta'

The former Al-Sadd manager still has a contract with Barcelona until 2025, and according to Marca, he is now giving serious thought to staying on beyond the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.

The report adds that the head coach has already taken the first step towards seeing out his contract by agreeing to meet with president Laporta, who alongside Deco will do his utmost to change Xavi's mind.

The pair will apparently try to twist Xavi's arm by making promises in the transfer market, assuring him that the club will do everything that they can to secure his targets for the summer window.

Xavi is aware of the club's volatile financial situation and will supposedly not make outlandish demands amid Financial Fair Play concerns, but he wants to feel supported by the powers-that-be.

Who are the candidates to take over from Xavi?

Rafael Marquez in action for Barcelona on February 20, 2010© Reuters

While Xavi may be open to discussing his future with Laporta and Deco, there are no guarantees that the meetings will yield a positive outcome, and any extension on his future will naturally be met with many raised eyebrows from fans and the media given his previous affirmations.

The club's delicate financial situation is a strong factor in their decision to try to keep him around, as the club are supposedly not willing to pay the release clauses of Ruben Amorim and Roberto De Zerbi.

Instead, the Blaugrana are believed to have decided on current youth team boss Rafael Marquez to be their new boss if Xavi does stick to his guns, but Barca are not entirely convinced by his appointment.

While the former centre-back is admired for his work with the academy, Barca are apparently concerned that he would not have the same support from the media that Xavi enjoys, and the step-up to first-team football could weigh heavily on his shoulders.

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Barcelona coach Xavi on April 10, 2024
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