Barcelona announce Vilanova departure with immediate effect

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has stepped down with immediate effect over health concerns.
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Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has stepped down with immediate effect over health concerns.

Barca confirmed on Friday night that Vilanova would not be able to continue in the role as he continues to receive treatment for the illness.

They plan to unveil a replacement in the coming days.

Barca president Sandro Rosell announced the news at a press conference, which was held with members of Barcelona's first team in attendance.

He said: "After evaluating the results of the routine follow-up tests, taken by Tito Vilanova this week, he has been presented the option of being able to undergo a treatment to continue managing his illness which will be incompatible with him being the head coach of the first team from now on.

"I want to ask everyone, especially the media, for him and his family, for the utmost respect for the privacy of all in this process which starts from today."

Reports in Spain had earlier suggested Joan Francesc Ferrer, known as Rubi, could take over Vilanova in a caretaker capacity.

The 43-year-old joined Barca's coaching staff last month as an assistant to Vilanova and Jordi Roura - who took charge of the first team when Vilanova was absent last season.

Rubi was head coach of Girona last term and led the club to the Segunda Division play-offs, where they lost to Almeria to miss out on a place in the top flight for the first time in their history.

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