Next Barcelona Manager: Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi the ‘most viable’ Xavi replacement

Tom Weber
Tom Weber

  • Updated: 17 Feb 2024 18:28 GMT
  • 3 min read
Xavi, Barcelona

Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi is the ‘most viable’ option to replace Xavi at Barcelona, according to Spanish media.

Barcelona will need to replace Xavi at the end of the season. The 44-year-old will leave the club after an incredibly underwhelming campaign that has convinced him that his former side are in need of a ‘change of dynamic.’

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The problem that Barcelona face is that their potential options to replace the club legend are quite limited. The cash-strapped Catalans would not be able to buy someone like Xabi Alonso out of his contract, while it is also highly doubtful whether they could even afford the wages of someone like Jurgen Klopp.

Barcelona will either have to find an in-house solution, such as Rafa Marquez, or go bargain-hunting. Hansi Flick, out of a job since getting sacked by the German national team last year, is reportedly keen on the role. His successor Julian Nagelsmann could also be available after Euro 2024, but he has already been pretty much ruled out as a potential option.

Roberto de Zerbi
© IMAGO – Roberto de Zerbi

De Zerbi to Barca?

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is reportedly keen on hiring a German coach, yet there is one non-German manager who is deemed the ‘most viable’ appointment for the club – despite the fact that he is currently under contract.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the man in question is Brighton chief Roberto de Zerbi. While it is acknowledged that signing him would be tough due to his €10 million release clause, there are several factors that make him a realistic option.

One is the fact that he is represented by the same people as Blaugrana star Ronald Araujo. Additionally, Catalan big-wigs believe that they could tempt him and get him to push for a move as he has never managed a club of the stature of Barcelona before.

The Italian may feel that he has taken Brighton as far as he can after a somewhat disappointing season compared to the previous, swashbuckling campaign. De Zerbi recently made no secret of the fact that he was unhappy with Brighton’s January business, perhaps hinting at something of a rift behind the scenes.

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