FC Barcelona Fire Koeman

FC Barcelona have sacked coach Ronald Koeman following Wednesday’s 1-0 LaLiga loss to Rayo Vallecano, their third defeat in their last four league games.

Following Koeman’s exit, sources have told Reuters that the club will open talks with Xavi Hernandez on Friday regarding the vacancy, with the former team captain now the first choice.

However, the same sources add that FC Barcelona don’t expect to have a replacement in place until after the November international break.

Koeman’s position had been seriously weakened after poor results prior to the October international break, with back-to-back defeats against Real Madrid and Rayo this week proving to be the tipping point.

The 58-year-old leaves FC Barcelona ninth place in the league and in danger of missing out on the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in 20 years.

Barca is yet to register an away win in any competition this season.

The club said in a statement: “FC Barcelona have relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first-team coach.

“The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano.

“Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva.

“FC Barcelona wishes to thank him for his service to the club and wishes him all the best in his professional career.”

As for Xavi, the 41-year-old former midfield great won a slew of trophies with FC Barcelona in his 17 years as a senior player, including eight LaLiga titles and four Champions League medals.

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