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Vilanova set to return to Spain this week

"Tito Vilanova will this week leave the city of skyscrapers to return to the Catalan capital," Barca said in a statement on their website. The club did not say whether he would be well enough to return to work.

The 44-year-old former Barca player needed a second round of surgery in December following an initial operation to remove a tumour from his saliva glands in November 2011.

His assistant Jordi Roura took charge while he relocated to New York for a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Barca stuttered in Vilanova's absence and they were eliminated from the King's Cup and beaten in La Liga by arch-rivals Real Madrid.

However, they managed a stirring comeback against AC Milan to secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals and are 13 points clear of Real in La Liga with 10 games left.

Barca's next match is at Celta Vigo on Saturday and they play at Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League last eight, first leg on April 2.