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Barcelona name B-team coach Sergi as caretaker after Koeman sacking

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Madrid, Oct 29 (IANS) FC Barcelona have confirmed B-team coach Sergi Barjuan as the short-term replacement for Ronald Koeman following his sacking on Wednesday night.

The 49-year-old, who made 382 first-team appearances for Barcelona, will be in charge of the first team until a long-term replacement is found for the Dutchman, who lost his job just hours after Barca’s 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano.

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“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 a full-time head coach to replace the dismissed Ronald Koeman,” said the FC Barcelona website.

Prior to taking over the Barca-B team this summer, Sergi had worked with the club’s youth system, as well as with Recreativo Huelva, Almeria, Mallorca and the Chinese side, Zhejiang Professional Football Club, with only a moderate degree of success.

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Sergi will be in charge for Saturday’s (October 30) La Liga game at home to Alaves and possibly for the vital Champions League visit to Dynamo Kiev the following Tuesday (November 2), as well as the league visit to Vigo the following Saturday (November 6).

Those three games are followed by the next international break and Barca hope to have a long-term replacement in charge by the time they play local rivals, Espanyol on November 20.

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Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez is the clear favorite to be named as the long-term coach, with the 41-year-old, who is synonymous with Barca’s passing game, saying just a week ago that his ambition was to coach the club.

Xavi is currently coaching Qatari club Al-Saad but is thought to have a clause that would allow him to join Barca.

–IANS

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