Barcelona considering Hansi Flick as potential Xavi replacement, according to report: Former Bayern boss to meet Deco?

Former Bayern Munich and Germany manager Hansi Flick has reportedly emerged as one of the top candidates to succeed Xavi as Barcelona manager, should the club decide to sack the ex-player.

Barcelona sporting director Deco and football coordinator Bojan have reportedly traveled to London on a work trip this week. according to ESPN, while reports from Spain claim that they will meet Flick and his agent there. However, a final decision on Xavi's sacking will not come until next week, when club president Joan Laporta plans to meet him.

Flick is among the managers being considered for the potential vacancy, which would be one of several high-profile jobs available in Europe. The list of candidates reportedly includes second-team manager Rafa Marquez, another ex-Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel and former Brighton and Hove Albion coach Roberto De Zerbi. The latter two are expected to be in the running for several other jobs across the continent, but have yet to be seriously linked to jobs.

Flick has long been a respected coach in his native Germany. He was assistant coach to the national team when they won the 2014 World Cup and was also on the books when they finished second at the 2008 European Championships and consecutive third-place finishes at the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championships. name during his spell at Bayern from 2019 to 2021, when he won the UEFA Champions League, two Bundesliga titles and the Club World Cup, among others.

He then took the job in Germany but was a candidate for the Barcelona vacancy before taking charge of the national team. The team underperformed during his tenure, including exiting the group stage at the 2022 World Cup and in September last year Flick became the first manager to be sacked. He has been unemployed ever since.

Managerial turns at Barcelona

The past few months have been turbulent for Barcelona when it comes to their management situation. After a string of poor results, Xavi announced in January that he would resign at the end of the season, but the club never seriously considered other managers and instead tried to convince him to stay. The plan eventually worked, causing Xavi to reverse his decision in April after a meeting with Laporta.

Last week, things took a turn after a seemingly innocuous incident at a press conference, when Xavi told media members that it would be difficult to compete with Real Madrid next season given the club's different economic circumstances. While Real Madrid is stable enough to pay the wages of many of the world's best players and is expected to sign Kylian Mbappe, Barcelona has struggled to deal with La Liga's financial regulations in recent years.

“We are going to try to compete,” Xavi said last week. according to ESPN. “The situation is difficult financially. It has nothing to do with what happened 25 years ago, when the coach came and said: 'I like this player, this one and this one.' It doesn't work that way anymore. The fans have to understand the situation. As a coach, I understand what is happening and that's how we approach things better [financial] fair play, that's the reality. The fans need to know. But this does not mean that we will not try to achieve our goals.”

Laporta was reportedly angry with Xavi's “realistic” stance and began considering sacking the manager. according to Guillem Balague. ESPN reports that Xavi and his staff have remained in the dark about their job stability since last week's events, although they expect they will not be in charge next season.

If Barcelona decide to fire Xavi, the question is whether or not he will ask for compensation for the final year of his contract. It could worsen the club's financial position, which was reportedly high on their list of priorities when they tried to convince him to stay earlier this year.

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