Vilanova has been dogged by ill health and spent most of last season recovering from a cancerous tumour.
AS report that Vilanova is to be temporarily replaced by a new member of staff, called Rubi, who managed Girona in the Segunda Division last season.
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.