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Barcelona president sees former defender as his favourite option to succeed Xavi as manager

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Photo by ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona have won only two of their previous five matches across all competitions, losing two and drawing one. The performances have been far from convincing and all of it has led to increased pressure on manager Xavi Hernandez.

The 43-year-old club legend signed a new contract with Barça until 2025 earlier this year, but some sections are already questioning his continuity in Catalonia in light of the recent displays from the team.

Rafa Marquez is Joan Laporta’s preferred successor

Despite the pressure, it is understood that Xavi’s job is not under threat at this point, and any decision over his future will likely be made at the end of the season.

And in case Barcelona decide to not bet on his continuity, club president Joan Laporta already has a successor in mind.

Indeed, as per Albert Masnou of SPORT, Laporta sees current Barça Atletic manager Rafa Marquez as his favourite to succeed Xavi as the first-team boss in the future.

This report comes after the Barcelona president was in Palamós this past weekend, watching Barça Atletic play Cornelia away from home for the first time.

Laporta is not a regular at Barcelona Atlètic matches when they are played at home and much less when they are played outside the Ciutat Esportiva. Therefore, his visit to watch the Cornelia game must be considered extraordinary.

Márquez assumed the Barcelona B bench last season. With hardly any experience, the former Barça defender led the team to the playoffs and has led them to fourth place this term. The players speak well of him and he has earned the respect of those within the club.

Barcelona president is backing Marquez for the first-team job. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Pressure tactic for Xavi?

The report argues that Laporta’s decision to travel to watch Barcelona Atletic in action and visit the dressing room after the game could be a move to put pressure on Xavi.

After all, the trip came right after the Barça first team limped away to a 1-1 draw away against Rayo Vallecano and have a huge game coming up against Porto.

Marquez has Laporta’s approval to take over the senior team, when the time comes, but for now, it is believed that the Barcelona president has full faith in Xavi.

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