The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Van Gaal is out, finally

Barcelona: Barcelona sporting director and former coach Carles Rexach said that he was the favourite to take charge of the team after Louis van Gaal agreed to leave the Catalan club Tuesday.

“The most logical, normal thing in football would be for me to take over as coach,” Rexach told reporters at the Nou Camp.

Rexach said his inside knowledge made him the obvious choice for the job, but he also added that other considerations meant that he may not return to the post he held last season. “I know van Gaal,” he said. “We have talked a lot about football together.

“I have travelled with the team, know how the players work and, in fact, signed many of them myself. But there are also other factors to take into account that may mean that this doesn’t happen.

“I don’t think the controversy at the club is healthy and it is not a good thing to enter into daily debates over the future of the team as it ends up affecting the players.”

Earlier Tuesday, Van Gaal had agreed to part ways with the club following the board’s decision to negotiate a deal to terminate his contract and bring to an end his second spell at Barcelona.

A 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo Sunday left them in 12th place in the league, 20 points behind leaders Real Sociedad and just three points above the relegation zone.

Rexach, who was van Gaal’s predecessor as Barcelona coach, took over the team after Llorenc Serra Ferrer was sacked in April 2001. Barcelona went on to finish fourth in the league that season and clinched a place in the Champions League, thanks to a 3-2 win over Valencia in the final game of the season.

In his second season in charge Rexach helped guide Barcelona to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost out to eventual winners Real Madrid, and once again finished fourth in the league.

Rexach continued to work for the club as sporting director after van Gaal was appointed to replace him at the end of last season.

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