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Xavi addresses Barcelona future amid recent speculation

:Headline: Xavi addresses Barcelona future amid recent speculation:
Barcelona head coach Xavi says that he is still planning to stand down from his position at the end of the campaign.
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Barcelona head coach Xavi has insisted that he is still planning to stand down from his position at the end of the season despite the recent speculation surrounding his future.

At the end of January, off the back of a 5-3 home loss to Villarreal in La Liga, Xavi revealed that he would be leaving Camp Nou at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

The team's form since the surprise announcement has been excellent, winning seven and drawing three of their 10 matches in all competitions, and they are second in the La Liga table and present in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Barcelona's sporting director Deco has said on multiple occasions in recent weeks that the door is still open for Xavi to stay, while the Catalan club's president Joan Laporta is also believed to be pushing for the former midfielder to change his mind.

However, when asked for an update during a press conference on Friday, the 44-year-old said that "nothing changes" regarding his future.

"I've already told them that I'm very grateful to the staff, personally to me, to the president, to Deco. I don't think anything changes, I think what is best for the club. Nothing changes," he told reporters.

Barcelona recorded a 3-0 victory over Atletico Madrid before the international break and are now preparing to face Las Palmas in Spain's top flight on Saturday evening.

Xavi has insisted that his team are fully focused on Las Palmas despite their next game after this one being against Paris Saint-Germain, heading to France for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

"Las Palmas don't waste the ball, they have very technically gifted players, Barca DNA, you have to take the ball away from them. They come with little to lose, it can't be easy for us," he said.

"I've told them to forget about the national teams in order to continue this positive dynamic. It's a very important match to continue fighting for the league title. We need the fans."

Which managers are in the frame to replace Xavi?

Despite ruling himself out of the running earlier this year, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta continues to be linked with the managerial role at Camp Nou.

Should Arteta manage to lead the Gunners to Premier League or Champions League glory this season, there have been claims that he could leave in search of a new challenge.

Hansi Flick is seen as the current favourite, though, with the 59-year-old, who managed Bayern Munich between November 2019 and June 2021, out of work since leaving his role as Germany boss last September.

Rafael Marquez is the current Barcelona B head coach, and there have also been suggestions that the Mexican could make the step-up to the senior side at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi is also thought to be admired by senior figures at Camp Nou, with the Italian a potential option for the role. body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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