Sergi interim at Barca, Xavi on horizon

Former Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez has reportedly agreed terms to coach the Spanish giants.
Former Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez has reportedly agreed terms to coach the Spanish giants.

Barcelona have appointed Sergi Barjuan as interim coach to replace Ronald Koeman, who was fired Wednesday evening.

Sergi, as he is widely known, has been in charge of Barcelona's 'B' team until now.

The 49-year-old former left-back played for Barcelona for a decade and was capped 56 times by Spain.

He will be in the dugout for Saturday's Spanish league match against Alaves.

Koeman was axed in the wake of a 1-0 league defeat against Rayo Vallecano, their fourth loss in the last six games.

Barcelona said Sergi will lead the squad until a permanent replacement for Koeman is found.

That seems likely to be former midfield star Xavi Hernandez with Spain's Sport paper reporting terms have been agreed.

Club legend Xavi, 41, came through Barca's famed academy and played for the first team 1998-2015, winning 25 titles with them including four Champions Leagues and eight Spanish league titles.

He moved on the Qatari club Al Sadd where he ended his career in 2019 and is now the coach on a contract until 2023.

However, he has a one million euros release clause and has said in the past he would like to coach Barca one day.

Sport said talks with Al Sadd were still needed although the report suggested a final decision could come before the end of the day.

Barcelona and Xavi have not commented.

Whoever gets the coaching job faces a daunting task at the struggling giants who have reported debts of more than one billion euros and had to let the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann go in the off-season.

New talent like Pedri is arriving but Barca sit only ninth in LaLiga and could face a group stage elimination in the Champions League.

Australian Associated Press