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Barcelona have three strong candidates to replace Xavi

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Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

With each passing day, Barcelona get closer to bidding goodbye to manager Xavi Hernandez after he announced his decision to leave the club at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old club legend has made the decision to move on after June 30, leaving club president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco looking for a replacement.

The Barcelona hierarchy has identified several options as potential successors for Xavi, with names like Jurgen Klopp, Sergio Conceicao, Ruben Amorim, and even Barça Atletic’s Rafa Marquez being linked.

Now, though, Gerard Romero has come up with an update on Barcelona’s search for a new manager, claiming that the club have narrowed in on three names – a German coach, an Italian manager, and a Spaniard, as the strongest contenders to take over from Xavi.

Hansi Flick

As per Romero, the German manager on Barcelona’s radar to replace Xavi happens to be Hansi Flick. The 58-year-old is currently unattached after being relieved of his duties as manager of the German national team in September last year.

While his time with Die Mannschaft was not a success, Flick enjoyed a tremendous spell with Bayern Munich before that, winning a sextuple in a matter of months. President Laporta is believed to be leaning towards a German manager, which boosts Flick’s chances.

It has been suggested that the 58-year-old manager would love to become the Barça head coach and is even learning Spanish as preparation.

Roberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi on Barcelona’s agenda. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Italian manager that Barcelona are looking at, according to Romero, is Roberto De Zerbi. The 44-year-old is doing a brilliant job at Brighton & Hove Albion, having led them to Europe, and doing so with a team playing an attractive and enterprising brand of football.

De Zerbi has also received the endorsement of Pep Guardiola, which only adds to the appeal for Barcelona, who really like the Italian tactician

However, at the same time, they are aware that a move for the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk manager will be difficult, considering his contract at Brighton until 2026.

Unnamed Spaniard

While Romero revealed De Zerbi and Flick to be on Barcelona’s shortlist, the journalist did not unveil the name of the Spanish manager that the La Liga champions are eyeing to replace Xavi at the end of the season.

It must, however, be noted that the Blaugrana have been strongly linked with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, although he has distanced himself from the move with his contract at the Emirates running until 2025.

Meanwhile, more recently, Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso has also been mentioned as an option, although his history with Real Madrid could be a hindrance. The likes of Michel and Imanol Alguacil, as well as PSG manager Luis Enrique, have also been touted as targets previously.

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