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Barcelona set to face Bayern Munich competition for 44-year-old Premier League manager

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Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Roberto De Zerbi has emerged as one of the top candidates to replace Xavi Hernandez as the manager of FC Barcelona at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old Italian tactician has a contract with Brighton & Hove Albion that runs until 2027 and has a release clause worth €15 million – which Barça do not intend to pay.

It was seen as one of the hurdles in the Blaugrana’s pursuit of De Zerbi, who is regarded as one of the most promising young managers in Europe currently.

However, things could be set to get even more difficult for Barcelona as a new team has emerged as competitor in pursuit of the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss.

Bayern set sights on De Zerbi

Indeed, as per Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, Bayern Munich have set their sights on Roberto De Zerbi as a potential candidate to replace Thomas Tuchel, who will leave the club at the end of the season.

As per the report, the Bundesliga champions have Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso at the top of their wishlist, but are identifying Plan B and Plan C, in case the Spaniard does not arrive.

And one such alternative they have identified is De Zerbi, with new director Max Eberl sharing a very high opinion of the 44-year-old Brighton & Hove Albion boss.

With Alonso also being targeted by Liverpool as a replacement for Jurgen Klopp, there is a chance Bayern end up missing out on him, in which case De Zerbi could become a serious option for the Bavarians, potentially hurting Barcelona’s chances.

Same situation with Flick

Like with De Zerbi, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are also looking at another managerial target, Hansi Flick.

Both clubs retain an interest in the German tactician who has been without a job since September 2023.

However, reports have suggested that the 58-year-old would prefer a move to Barça over a return to Bayern Munich, which could give the Blaugrana an edge.

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