Football

Barcelona supremo admits talks with Xavier Hernandez

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that they have no regret allowing Lionel Messi to leave Camp Nou.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he is in contact with the 41-year-old former Barca midfielder, Xavier Hernandez, following the sacking of Ronald Koeman on Wednesday.

Koeman was dismissed after a 1-0 away defeat by Rayo Vallecano.

But Al Sadd tweeted: “Xavi has a two-year contract and is fully focused on the team’s upcoming matches.”

Xavi is favourite to replace Koeman and Laporta said: “I have always said one day Xavi will be Barca’s head coach but I don’t know when.

“We have great references about Xavi at Al Sadd. All our reports about Xavi are positive. We can talk a lot about Xavi, but I cannot give you more details. He is in all the papers, but we also have other options.”

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Laporta was asked whether he waited too long to make a decision on Dutchman Koeman’s future.

“Probably, yes,” he said. “Looking back it is easy to analyse, we felt Koeman deserved confidence to recover some injured players and it was a way to motivate the manager.

“I looked for some positives. Probably we had to make an earlier decision, I assume the responsibilities of this decision.”

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