Xavi “preparing” for Barcelona job as Joan Laporta fails to back Ronald Koeman again

Xavi is already “preparing and training to coach Barcelona” according to his former midfield partner Andres Iniesta.

The World Cup-winning Barca legend is believed to be one of the favourites to replace Ronald Koeman, should he be sacked by the LaLiga giants.

The Blaugrana’s miserable start to the season continued on Monday night, as Koeman’s side were held 1-1 by Granada.

That result came hot on the heels of their Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich, kicking off their European campaign with a 3-0 home defeat.

Speculation is now rife that the Dutchman could be relieved of his duties in the coming weeks and Xavi, who is currently managing Al Sadd in Qatar, is said to be in the frame.

And Iniesta believes his old colleague is more than ready to take the mantle and has been hoping for the opportunity.

Asked if Xavi would be ready for the role, he told SPORT: “I think so, yes. If you ask me if I imagine Xavi on the Barca bench.

“Above all because he’s been preparing and training to coach Barca. He has the confidence to take on this challenge.”

As for a reunion between the pair, Iniesta is unsure whether he sees his future in the dugout.

He continued: “There are days you think you want to coach, others no, I don’t know. Playing right now, it’s hard to visualise anything else.

“It’s true that I have to think about (coaching) and see what the possibilities are. What I would like to do and I think I will, is get my badges.”

Barca president Joan Laporta has issued yet another message to supporters, his third in a week, asking for calm, but refusing to outright back the under-fire Koeman.

“Hello, Barcelona fans. I ask you to keep supporting our team,” Laporta’s message began. “The team needs you, and [they are] thankful to you. You know we are experiencing a difficult time and these are the moments when you need to stand by us.

“This week, a Barcelona delegation is going to the Palos de la Frontera to a supporters’ club event, which coincides with the match in Cadiz.

“In Cadiz, you can be sure that the team will try to win. I don’t know what will happen, but no matter what, in the next match against Levante this week, keep supporting our team. The team needs it.

“And try to remain calm, we know what needs to be done and we will sort it.

“Thank you very much, and come on Barcelona!”

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