Club stands by Vilanova who faces second cancer battle


Barcelona will wait for the return of coach Tito Vilanova after being rocked by yesterday’s news that he needed surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the following six weeks.

The 44-year-old stepped up from assistant to replace Pep Guardiola at the end of last season, after having had surgery on a tumour in his saliva glands in November last year. “While monitoring his parotid gland a change has been detected . . . that requires surgery which will be carried out on Thursday,” Barca said.

Barca president Sandro Rosell and sports director Andoni Zubizarreta put an end to speculation a replacement would be brought in on an interim basis. “Tito is the coach, and continues to be so,” Zubizarreta said. “(Assistant) Jordi Roura will take charge against Valladolid (on Saturday).”

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