Xavi is not alone on Barcelona‘s list of potential replacements for Ronald Koeman. The Catalan giants are considering other possible coaches besides their club legend to take over the managerial role.

“The name of Xavi is all over the news but Barça has other options,” club President Joan Laporta said, without naming names.

Laporta faced a barrage of questions about the widespread speculation linking Xavi to the position. Each time, he lauded the former midfielder while not revealing details of the job hunt.

One reason that other candidates are being looked at might be down to the fact that Qatari club Al-Sadd, Xavi’s current employer, appears intent on making him see out his contract that ends in 2023.

“In response to what’s circulating recently, the Al-Sadd management reaffirms that Xavi has a two-year contract with the club and is fully focused on the team’s upcoming matches, to maintain our lead at the top of the league and to defend the title,” it said in a statement.

The 41-year-old Xavi joined Al-Sadd after leaving Barcelona in 2015 following 25 titles in 17 seasons. He played for Al-Sadd until becoming the team’s coach in 2019.

Laporta started his second stint as Barcelona president midway through last season after his predecessor stepped down amid the club’s financial crisis and the team’s poor results.

Laporta said he often speaks with Xavi, who played for Barcelona during Laporta’s first stint as president, “as friends” who like to chat about the team.

“I have never changed what I say about Xavi. One day he will become the coach of Barcelona, and I would even like for that to be while I am in charge. What I don’t know is when,” Laporta said.

“It is true that the scouting reports we have on him are very good. All the inputs and news we have on Xavi are good, even though he has not been coaching a long time,” he added.

Koeman was let go on Wednesday following a 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano that left Barcelona in ninth place in the Spanish league. That followed painful losses to Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Benfica, and Bayern Munich this season.

Barcelona promoted reserve team coach Sergi Barjuan the next day to act as caretaker coach. Laporta said Barjuan will be in charge of Saturday’s home game against Alavés and possibly next week’s Champions League match at Dynamo Kyiv.

(With AP inputs)