June 14, 2024

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Barcelona Eyeing 44-year-old Premier League manager as Potential Xavi Replacement

2 min read

In the latest twist in Barcelona’s managerial saga, Roberto De Zerbi emerges as the frontrunner to succeed Xavi Hernandez, according to reports from AS. The Brighton head coach has caught the attention of the Catalan giants’ management, with talks progressing towards his potential appointment.

According to Javier Miguel of AS, Joan Laporta and Deco are aligned in their support for De Zerbi to take the helm at Barcelona, signaling a significant shift in the club’s strategy. This endorsement has prompted discussions between De Zerbi’s representatives, Edmundo Kabchi and Edoardo Cnajr, and Barcelona’s sporting director, spanning over three hours in Barcelona.

While negotiations primarily revolved around contractual matters, including the renewal of Ronald Araújo’s contract, the prospect of De Zerbi making the move to Catalonia was also on the agenda. However, a major obstacle stands in the way of sealing the deal – Brighton’s hefty €10 million release clause, posing a financial challenge for Barcelona.

Nevertheless, Barcelona remains undeterred, offering assurances to De Zerbi’s camp that, should an agreement be reached, he will assume managerial responsibilities from July 1. The decision to pursue De Zerbi stems from the belief that his footballing philosophy aligns with Barcelona’s DNA, reminiscent of the style championed by Pep Guardiola.

De Zerbi’s track record of nurturing young talent, exemplified by his role in the development of players like Ansu Fati, further strengthens his candidacy. However, negotiations with Brighton could prove arduous, given De Zerbi’s contractual obligations until 2026.

Amidst dwindling options for Xavi’s replacement, De Zerbi emerges as the favored candidate by Barcelona’s hierarchy. The coming days will shed light on whether the Italian tactician will heed Barcelona’s call and embark on a new chapter at Camp Nou.

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