Barcelona chief Laporta has three reasons to sack Xavi amid crisis

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Barcelona went into this season with many expecting Xavi to challenge Real Madrid for La Liga and Champions League glory. But, already, the Spaniard finds himself under pressure. And with Joan Laporta never entirely convinced it was the right time to hand the keys to the Nou Camp to the 42-year-old, his days in the dugout could soon be over…

Speaking on Wednesday, Xavi admitted he feared the sack at Barcelona and that his status as a club legend wasn’t guaranteed to keep him in his current role.

“Of course. It’s football. People on the street raise their fists at me as a sign of encouragement,” he said, addressing the pressure rising.

“Now we have to continue and face reality, but I’m always positive. With the effort made by the club & the squad we have, we have to compete for trophies.

“And if we don’t win, as the president [Joan Laporta] said, there will be consequences, starting with me.

“If we don’t win, another coach will come in. But I am going to give everything so that this works.”

So, with Barcelona enduring a mixed campaign so far, Express Sport will now take a look at three reasons why Laporta could wield the axe right now.

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Champions League is a disaster

Barcelona went into the season expecting to challenge for the Champions League trophy.

But, instead, they now face dropping down to the Europa League.

Barcelona have won just one of their four games in the competition so far and that was against minnows Viktoria Plzen.

They lost and drew with Inter Milan both away and at home, while also slipping to defeat against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Having budgeted with reaching the quarter-finals in mind, Barcelona certainly haven’t lived up to expectations and slipping down a level would severely impact their finances, too.

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Failure to get the best from summer signings

Back in the summer, Barcelona decided to back Xavi with some lavish spending.

But, Robert Lewandowski aside, the new recruits at the Nou Camp have taken a while to get going.

Raphinha hasn’t been able to produce the same form he managed at Leeds, while Andreas Christensen’s injury woes have prevented him from fulfilling his true potential.

Franck Kessie has been a bit-part player, Marcos Alonso hasn’t impressed and Jules Kounde has struggled for consistency in the short time since touching down.

It doesn’t bode well for Xavi, especially as he gave his approval to all of those who made the move.

Top bosses are available

Another reason Barcelona have to sack Xavi is that some top, more-experienced bosses are currently on the market.

Thomas Tuchel is a free agent, with the German losing his job at Chelsea last month despite only winning the Champions League with the Blues last year.

Marcelo Gallardo is another one to consider, with the River Plate boss poised to leave his role in Argentina this winter.

And though Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out taking the Barcelona job in the past, he’d be a good option for the La Liga giants to consider.

It was always going to be a big test for Xavi and, right now, he’s in a difficult situation over in Catalonia.

Barcelona’s recent managerial record

If Barcelona were to sack Xavi before the end of the year, he’d become the club’s fourth managerial casualty since the turn of the decade.

Ernesto Valverde was axed in January 2020, with Quique Setien then lasting just eight months in charge afterwards.

Barcelona had high hopes for Ronald Koeman when he was drafted in in August of that same year.

Yet after just over a year, and one Copa del Rey trophy later, the Dutchman was forced to pack his bags and go.

Xavi is a club legend at Barcelona and their current plight will hurt him. Whether he has what it takes to turn the situation around, however, remains to be seen.

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