Barca look at life after Vilanova

Barcelona were mourning the enforced exit of ailing coach Tito Vilanova on Saturday but there was also a sense the Spanish champions were prepared to move swiftly to appoint a successor and focus on preparations for next season.
President Sandro Rosell made the announcement late on Friday that Vilanova, who has been battling throat cancer the past two years, needed more treatment that meant he would be unable to remain in charge of the first team.
A replacement for the 44-year-old, who was promoted from assistant coach to succeed Pep Guardiola at the end of the 2011-12 season, would likely be announced early next week, Rosell added. Many of the first team squad were at Rosell’s news conference, including World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, and the club cancelled a friendly they were due to play against Polish side Lechia Gdansk on Saturday and suspended training until Monday.
“Life goes on,” Rosell said. “Obviously this is a very hard blow to take but Barca have suffered many blows in our history and we have always come through. This will be no different.”
Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia reported that Joan Francesc Ferrer, known as “Rubi”, could be in line to take over, while daily Sport said the former Girona coach might be a temporary replacement.
Ferrer led Girona to the second division playoffs last season and was appointed Vilanova’s assistant for the coming campaign to help with technical analysis of Barca’s rivals.
Other names mentioned, all former Barca players, were Swansea’s Danish manager Michael Laudrup, Celta Vigo’s Spanish coach Luis Enrique and Dutchman Frank de Boer of Ajax Amsterdam.

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