Barcelona announce interim manager after Koeman sacking

Robin Bairner
Barcelona, Camp Nou

Barcelona have announced Sergi Barjuan will be their interim head coach following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.

Koeman was sacked on Wednesday following a 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, which left the club ninth in the standings, five points off the top four.

Although it is widely expected that Xavi will be the Catalan side's next coach, Barjuan will act as stopgap.

In a statement, the club says: "FC Barcelona hereby announces that Sergi Barjuan, the current coach of Barca B, shall be taking provisional charge of the technical management of the senior squad.

"His interim position as first-team head coach shall end as soon as the club has hired full-time head coach to replace the dismissed Ronald Koeman.

"FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, shall be officially introducing Sergi Barjuan to the first team squad this afternoon before the training session at the Ciutat Esportiva."

What does this mean for Xavi?

Barcelona's sacking of Koeman might not have come on a whim, but the fact that they do not have a successor in place suggests that they were not planning on sacking the Dutchman so rapidly.

Certainly, it ends speculation that Xavi could be appointed immediately to the role of head coach, with Barjuan to take the press conference ahead of Saturday's match with Alaves.

Indeed, it adds weight to initial reports that Xavi may only take command after the international break in November.



Who is Sergi Barjuan?

Sergi is a nine-year veteran player of Barcelona, having turned out for the club between 1993 and 2002, having come through La Masia.

A former left-back, he was capped 56 times for Spain.

In terms of his coaching experience, he had only been with Barcelona B since the summer, though he previously coached at youth level.

Barjuan has taken charge of Recreativo Huelva, Almeria, Mallorca and Zhejiang Greentown in a senior capacity, though has never managed at the level of Barcelona previously.