The Joan Laporta visit that is being taken as a warning over Xavi Hernandez’s future at Barcelona

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is more under pressure than he has thus far experienced in the job, as they lie four points behind Real Madrid, with Porto, Atletico Madrid and Girona coming around the corner in what could be a season-defining run. The Catalan media are reading the recent actions from Sporting Director Deco and President Joan Laporta as evidence of just that.

On Sunday night Deco was due to appear for an interview, but cancelled that appearance without giving a motive. Meanwhile on Sunday, after Barcelona fought their way to a 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, Laporta was seen visiting the Barca Atletic dressing room.

Far from habitual for the Blaugrana chief, this occurred after a 2-0 win over Cornella which put Atletic within two points of Real Sociedad B at the top of their Primera RFEF group, something which has been celebrated within Can Barca due to the youth of the side they have put together. It is also being seen as a solid job from Rafa Marquez in his second season at Atletic, having snuck them into the play-offs in sixth place last season.

As per Sport, Laporta considers Marquez a capable successor for Xavi, should he be necessary, and the Mexican is the favourite to take over if Xavi does depart.

The high-performing coaches of Girona, in Michel Sanchez, and Real Sociedad, in Imanol Alguacil, have been noted as potential options for the Barcelona bench in recent weeks, but with neither able to take over until the end of the season due to La Liga rules, Laporta cannot move for them. Marquez had reasonable season last year with Barca’s B side, but this year has put together a battling team that continues to win games even without a number of key losses this summer.

Tags Barcelona Barcelona Atletic Joan Laporta Rafa Marquez Xavi Hernandez


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