Barcelona’s patience with Ronald Koeman has finally run out, with the board having relieved the Dutchman of his duties as head coach on Wednesday following the 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano.
After months of speculation regarding his future, the defeat to Real Madrid in Sunday’s Clasico coupled with the loss away at Rayo on Wednesday proved to be the final straw.
MARCA has learned that Koeman will no longer remain in charge of Barcelona, with the decision taken shortly after the defeat at Vallecas.
The Catalans will now look to replace the Dutchman as soon as possible, with club legend Xavi Hernandez, currently with Al Sadd in Qatar, the favorite to take over.
Xavi wants to join, and the only obstacle now is Barcelona having to negotiate with Al Sadd to free him from his contract, which runs until after the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
The plan wouldn’t see him arrive immediately, as instead, he would likely come during the next international break in November, before which the Catalans have three games to play against Alaves, Dynamo Kyiv, and Celta Vigo.
An interim coach would likely take charge of those matches.
Despite Koeman being a club legend himself during his playing days, a disappointing end to the 2020/21 LaLiga Santander campaign, coupled with an even worse start to the current season – where Barcelona find themselves ninth in the table – convinced the board that the Dutchman would not be able to turn the tide.
On October 2, ahead of the league meeting with Atletico Madrid, Barcelona president Joan Laporta had stated Koeman would continue as a coach regardless of the result in an apparent vote of confidence for the under-pressure boss, yet with the situation has taken a turn for the worse over the course of the month, that position has drastically changed.