Barcelona: will Ernesto Valverde remain as manager if the deal with Xavi fails?

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<pre><pre>Barcelona: will Ernesto Valverde remain as manager if the deal with Xavi fails?

Valverde (center) took over from Luis Enrique at the Nou Camp in 2017

Governing champions, leaders, Champions League group winners, captain of the Ballon d & # 39; Or winner … but still in crisis?

That may not sound normal, but Barcelona is not a normal club.

At Nou Camp, style and substance are in demand, and manager Ernesto Valverde fought for his job in a series of unconvincing performances, even though he led his team to the top of the La Liga.

The sensitive situation was compounded by shock news that striker Luis Suarez has been suspended for four months and may be causing a desperate slump in the transfer market on Sunday.

Xavi advertised, Valverde quit?

Although they won La Liga by a mile, Barca's last season ended terribly with the infamous exit from the Champions League in Liverpool and a final loss to Copa del Rey against Valencia.

Valverde somehow clung to his job, but it was clear that he had little recognition, and the new campaign rarely delivered convincing collective accomplishments to his team, although Suarez and Lionel Messi's individual talent ensured enough victories to go alongside Real to take the lead in Madrid.

Barca's away form was particularly bad, with defeats at Athletic Bilbao, Granada and Levante and a draw at Osasuna, Real Sociedad and Espanyol.

The main concern is that all of these games followed a similar pattern, with Valverde unable to fix the problems that regularly left his team in possession and vulnerable.

After a poor performance in pre-Christmas Clasico – a disappointing goalless draw that largely dominated Real – Barca's last setback came against Atletico Madrid on Thursday in the reformatted Super Cup semi-final when they conceded two late goals to drop to 3-2 loss.

After this defeat, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu seems to have decided that enough is enough.

Xavi, who has just started his managerial career at Al-Sadd after playing for the Qatar club for the past four years, confirmed media reports that he spoke to Barca's sports director Eric Abidal and general manager Oscar Grau over the weekend.

On Saturday, the dismissal of Valverde and the immediate appointment of Xavi was generally considered a formality in the Spanish media.

But a turn came on Sunday when Xavi reportedly traced