In recent days, Barcelona coach Xavi has found himself at the center of a swirling storm, with his future at the club hanging in the balance.

The Spaniard had initially planned to depart Barcelona ahead of the season’s conclusion. Nonetheless, he reversed his decision following a series of discussions with club president Joan Laporta. This apparent resolution, however, now seems far from settled.

The turmoil began with the 44-year-old’s comments during a pre-match press conference ahead of Barca’s midweek victory over Almeria. These remarks reportedly incensed Laporta, casting a shadow over Xavi’s tenure and prompting speculation about his immediate future with the club.

The tension between the manager and Laporta could culminate in a decisive meeting in the coming days, with a resolution anticipated early next week. Adding another layer to this saga, Marca reports that some players within the squad are advocating for Xavi’s departure.

These players reportedly feel mistreated under Xavi’s management and have conveyed their discontent to the president, influencing his stance ahead of the crucial meeting. To make matters worse, the alleged friction between Xavi and his players has become increasingly public.

Who wants Xavi gone?

Key figures within the squad, including Vitor Roque, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Joao Felix, and Ronald Araujo, have all expressed dissatisfaction with Xavi’s approach. Roque, who moved to Catalonia just four months ago from Athletico Paranaense, finds his future at the club uncertain.

The club’s most popular name, Lewandowski is also reportedly unhappy with the coach substituting him early in matches. In fact, it is a frustration that was visibly evident during the game against Almeria. However, Raphinha’s disappointment is particularly notable, as per Mundo Deportivo.

Despite his recent impressive form, the Brazilian ace has found himself frequently benched or substituted early. His dissatisfaction reached a peak following an incident against Valencia on April 29.

It will be expensive for Barcelona to sack Xavi
It will be expensive for Barcelona to sack Xavi

It will be expensive for Barcelona to sack Xavi

The 27-year-old left the pitch with the score tied at 2-2 and reacted furiously, allegedly insulting Xavi’s brother and assistant coach, Oscar Hernandez. In response, Xavi benched Raphinha for the subsequent match against Girona. It was a game Barcelona lost 4-2, further straining their relationship, Jijantes add.

What’s more, Joao Felix has also voiced displeasure over his limited playing time, having started only once in the last two months; despite scoring the winning goal in that appearance against Cadiz. Ronald Araujo’s disagreements with Xavi, though less publicized, add to the mounting tensions within the squad.

What did Xavi recently say?

The culmination of these conflicts suggests that Xavi’s position is increasingly untenable. The coming days are expected to be critical as Xavi and Laporta hold showdown talks to determine the head coach’s future. This dramatic situation at Barcelona has unfolded rapidly this week; but all signs indicate that a resolution, one way or another, is imminent.

In the lead-up to Sunday’s La Liga encounter against Rayo, Xavi addressed the rumors regarding his future rather lately. “The club gives me peace of mind and enthusiasm and we continue with the same ambition”, he said.

“I understand all the noise, but it doesn’t change anything. I’m not interested. I receive information, but I am interested in having the trust of the president and Deco, which remains intact. Nothing changes. I understand that the media has to publish nothing, but for me nothing has changed.

“We will sit down. If we have to talk about something we will do it. Three weeks ago we sat here to announce that it was still going on. Absolutely nothing changes. If there is any change we will say it. I am calm and eager to face tomorrow’s [Sunday’s] game.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / Goal Sports Images