Xavi to leave Barcelona a month after deciding to stay

Xavi and Barcelona are parting ways a month after it was announced he would be staying on as head coach.

The former Spain international, 44, had announced in January his intention to leave the club at the end of the season before being persuaded to reverse his decision in April.

But in the latest twist in the saga — and just 30 days after the announcement he would see out his contract until 2025 — the decision has been made for him to leave the club.

Xavi met president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco at the club’s training ground on Friday, alongside his assistants Oscar Hernandez and Sergio Alegre, where it was decided the game against Sevilla on Sunday, the final match of the La Liga season, will be his last in charge.

A statement from the club read: “Barcelona would like to thank Xavi for his work as a coach, which adds to an unparalleled career as a player and captain of the team, and wishes him all the luck in the world.”

They added that they will provide details on the new structure of the first team “in the coming days”.

Former Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick is set to replace Xavi with an official announcement expected next week.

Flick is set to be confirmed as Xavi’s successor (Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Flick, 59, won the treble with the Bundesliga club in 2019-20 and has been out of work since being sacked by the German national team in September.

The Barca job will be his first outside of Germany in his career.

Xavi’s contract was valid until summer 2025 and it remains to be seen what happens with the financial cost of Xavi’s and his coaching staff’s exits as well as their salaries.

A month ago, when his resignation was still valid, Xavi accepted to write off his wages for the remainder of his deal.

The win over Almeria earlier this month was Xavi’s 100th game in charge. Only Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique have better records with the club over that same amount of games.

It was announced Xavi would stay in April (Lluis Gene/AFP via Getty Images)

Xavi had requested a meeting with Laporta ahead of Sunday’s La Liga fixture against Rayo Vallecano with speculation mounting over his future, but this did not take place.

Speaking ahead of that game, Xavi said nothing had changed with his position and insisted he still retained the support of Laporta and Deco.

“I can’t add anything new. The club transmits to me tranquility,” he said. “I stay with the same desire to face what’s left for this season and the next one. We have a project planned and nothing changes.”

Asked where the noise over his future was coming from, he replied: “I don’t know who is speaking and I don’t care. What I care about is to have the support of the president, which as far as I know remains untouched, and Deco.

“They tell me nothing has changed. I understand your questions and your job, but that’s what I can say. This is Barcelona, there’s a lot of noise, I get that.”

Barcelona have guaranteed second spot in La Liga before the curtain comes down on the 2023-24 campaign at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium on Sunday.

(David Ramos/Getty Images)

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