Laporta’s regular counsel from Guardiola and conversations with Xavi that could see him replace Koeman at Barcelona

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Ronald Koeman has a hugely important week coming up after the international break, with three home fixtures that could define Barcelona’s season.

Two in La Liga against Valencia and Real Madrid could see the Catalans move up the table with the right results, whilst the Champions League test against Dynamo Kyiv is a must win.

Barca are already bottom of their group with no points, and failure to emerge victorious from that match will make it incredibly difficult for the Blaugranes to even get out of the group stage.

That may go someway to explaining president, Joan Laporta, seeking regular counsel with Pep Guardiola.

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According to Sport, the Man City manager is just at the end of the phone for when Laporta feels the need to call. As a fellow Johan Cruyff disciple, it’s evident that the president values Guardiola’s input on various matters.

Joan Laporta

The same might be said for Xavi, whom Laporta had fallen out with over the former aligning himself with Victor Font in the presidential elections earlier this year. The report notes that the pair are back on friendly speaking terms, and the renewal of their friendship may pave the way to seeing Xavi as the next Barca manager.

It’s likely that Koeman will stay in his position until the end of the season, come what may, with a view to not renewing his contact at that point.

It would save the club money in terms of not having to pay off the Dutchman beforehand, and also puts paid to any mid-season upheaval.

This was always going to be another transitional season, given the way in which Josep Maria Bartomeu had apparently left things for his successor – with more questions than answers – so just to survive the season with heads above water would surely be considered as a positive step on the way back to the top.

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