Barcelona president Joan Laporta has proclaimed that he wants current head coach Xavi to remain at the role. The manager previously announced back in January that he would be stepping down from the position at the end of the current campaign. Xavi’s comments came following the club’s 5-3 home loss to Villarreal.

The Catalan club sat a disappointing third in the LaLiga standings at the time. Xavi previously led the team to the 2022/23 league title but has seen his squad struggle throughout the current season. Nevertheless, Laporta has now publicly declared his desire for his former player to stay with the club.

“Yes, absolutely. He already knows. I’d like him to stay,” Laporta told Mundo Deportivo when asked about to possibility of Xavi being the team’s manager in 2024/25.

“He keeps saying he’ll leave in June, but we’ll see. We don’t want to put this pressure on ourselves to make a decision for ourselves because the way things are going is working for us now.”

Laporta has spoken with replacements for Xavi at Barcelona

Although Barca has struggled with consistency throughout the season, the club is undefeated since Xavi made the announcement. The Spanish side has now moved up to second, only behind rivals Real Madrid, in the domestic table. Barca also advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals by beating Napoli 4-2 on aggregate. They edged their Italian counterparts in the competition by dominating the Serie A side 3-1 in the second-leg fixture.

Despite making the comments regarding Xavi, Laporta admitted that he has also discussed the position with other coaches. Laporta recently held talks with the agents of former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick. The manager most recently was at the helm of the German national team. However, Flick was fired in September of 2023 after the team’s poor run of form.

Besides Flick, Laporta told the aforementioned news outlet that picking a potential Barca manager is not necessarily easy. The club is looking for a specific soccer mind for the position.

“Any manager who comes will need to adapt to our structure,” continued Laporta. “Barca is above managers, players, presidents or executives. Everyone. We have created a successful model and the manager will need to adapt.”

“Whoever might come, will need to wait until the end of the season because we are not touching anything until Xavi makes his final decision.”

Barca will wait for Xavi’s final decision before making a move

It remains to be seen if Xavi will make a U-turn and stay with Barca beyond the current campaign. Nevertheless, the coach previously made strong comments regarding the wear and tear of managing such a massive team. Xavi admitted that he is not enjoying his time as Barca’s head coach.

Assuming Xavi does not return, Barca will certainly have plenty of top candidates to choose from. Along with Flick, Roberto De Zerbi, Garcia Pimienta, Thiago Motta, and Rafael Marquez have all recently been linked with the job. Marquez would especially be an interesting pick as he previously helped the club win several top trophies as a player. Marquez is also currently managing Barca’s B team as well.

The Catalan club will continue their season after the international break with a matchup against Las Palmas on Saturday, March 30. Xavi, however, will not be on the sidelines for the fixture. The Spanish coach was previously sent off in a thrilling 3-0 victory against Atletico Madrid last weekend. As a result, the Barca boss will miss the next two LaLiga matches.