Deco’s crucial role in Xavi stay and why Laporta was eager to keep him at Barcelona

Barcelona president Joan Laporta was always keen to persuade Xavi to stay on as manager at the club, while Deco also had a key role in convincing him not to step down.

It was confirmed yesterday that Xavi would not be leaving Barca, and Fabrizio Romano has written in his Daily Briefing column about how the situation at the Nou Camp changed after meetings yesterday.

Xavi had recently announced that he’d be stepping down at the end of this campaign, but it now seems that Laporta never held talks with any other candidates as he viewed the Spanish tactician as the ideal candidate to stay on and take charge of this project.

Xavi is a legendary figure at Barcelona from his playing days, though his managerial career has proven a bit more of a challenge, with the Catalan giants winning La Liga last season but failing to reproduce that form this term.

Still, Romano is of the opinion that Barca made the right choice to keep Xavi and try for a period of stability instead of going in a different direction.

Xavi U-turn explained by Fabrizio Romano

“Xavi is set to stay as Barcelona manager next season. It’s confirmed, after just months ago Xavi announced he was going to leave at the end of this campaign. There were rumours about him possibly changing his mind, which he denied, but now he is staying after a crazy day at Barcelona,” Romano said.

Xavi and Joan Laporta at the Barcelona training ground

“So, what really happened in the last 24 hours to change the story? As I’ve previously been reporting, Joan Laporta was always keen for Xavi to stay, and has been pushing to keep him. Laporta also never wanted to enter into concrete negotiations with other managers, because his focus was on keeping Xavi. Rafael Marquez is appreciated, but they never started proper conversations about appointing him because they were waiting for Xavi.

“Barca ended up holding two separate meetings yesterday, the first between Deco and Xavi, and from what I’m hearing that was a crucial one. That then led to the second meeting with Deco, Laporta and other key figures on the board. But the first meeting was crucial for Deco to allow Xavi to explain his reasons and point of view, and then for Deco to present Barcelona’s ideas one more time to convince him to stay at the club.

“So, Deco was really important, and then there was a meeting with Laporta to agree the conditions, shake hands, and confirm that Xavi is staying at Barcelona. Xavi will now be involved in the summer transfer window – he will work together with Deco on signings, outgoings, planning players’ futures. Xavi will again be a crucial figure at Barcelona.

“Laporta always wanted Xavi, he never contacted any other manager because was still hoping to keep him. He believes Xavi is the perfect coach – he’s trusting young talents and knows the club better than anyone else. The meeting at night was crucial to convince Xavi and get the green light. In my opinion, this is a very good decision as Barca needed some continuity, rather than to take the project in a new direction.”

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