This loss at the weekend to Villarreal is haunting Barcelona. Despite a victory midweek against Osasuna, Barcelona’s form is far below the club’s expectations. It conceded five goals against Villarreal in that loss. Then, Barcelona only defeated Osasuna 1-0. Xavi Hernandez has not been able to brush off the consequences.

Results have directly affected the Spaniard. People associated with the club seem to view him quite differently now that he is the club’s manager. This is even though he was treated with respect and decency when he was a renowned player.

Many prominent club members, including president Joan Laporta and sports director Deco, had sent notes of encouragement to the 44-year-old. On other occasions, he had also expressed his unwavering belief in his ability to reverse the situation. But that was before last Saturday.

The Barca great announced his departure from the club over the weekend, effective at the end of the season. “I took this decision days ago. I already knew it. But it’s time to make it public. I think the players could not free themselves up. I don’t want to be a problem for the club, but the opposite,” he said.

Who could replace Xavi?

Barcelona must now consider their options in light of Xavi’s announced exit. Unfortunately, they are in a precarious financial position and will have a hard time finding even a low-paid substitute.

The perfect move would be to bring Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp on board. However, that appears very improbable given the German’s stated desire to take a break after leaving Anfield in the summer.

The likes of Thiago Motta, Mikel Arteta, Imanol Alguacil, and Hansi Flick are also on Barcelona’s radar. Reports from Gerard Romero and Relevo suggest the Camp Nou outfit is considering Alguacil for the position of manager at Barca.

Jose Mourinho emerges as candidate at Barcelona

But now rumors are circulating in Spain that Jose Mourinho, Roma’s former boss, may replace Xavi as the boss at Barcelona. The Giallorossi let go of the 61-year-old Portuguese coach earlier after a dismal 3-1 defeat to AC Milan.

The outcome was too much for the Friedkin family, who eventually opted to terminate the coach’s tenure with the club. Transfer rumors to Napoli involving the Portuguese intensified at that point.

The coach allegedly planned to meet with President Aurelio De Laurentiis, who then said that the coach “has nothing to do with Napoli” and that his “destiny lies outside Italy.” These claims were made in response to many stories.

Spanish news agency ABC claims that after Xavi’s departure from Barcelona this summer, Mourinho may find himself in a coaching role there. His agent, Jorge Mendes, who also represents Deco, the club’s sports director, could play a major role in a possible deal.

Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix are just two of Mendes’s clients whom the Blaugrana have acquired in recent years. Now, Mourinho’s influence might lead to his appointment as Barcelona manager.

His past with Real Madrid is one possible reason the Special One could rethink taking charge in Catalonia. But ignoring his Chelsea past, he joined Manchester United years ago, proving he is easily swayed.