Barcelona to ditch Hansi Flick and make Roberto De Zerbi top candidate to succeed Xavi after giving up on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Barcelona will reportedly ditch Hansi Flick as they have made Roberto De Zerbi their top candidate to succeed Xavi after giving up on Mikel Arteta.

Roberto De Zerbi

As the Catalan giants navigate the turbulent waters of coaching transitions, they find themselves amidst a pivotal decision-making process. Luis Enrique and Mikel Arteta are contract-bound to Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal until 2025.

While Enrique shoulders the responsibility of reshaping PSG’s sporting structure after Kylian Mbappe’s departure, Arteta has steered Arsenal to notable successes in the Premier League since Arsene Wenger’s exit and the north London club will hold on to him at all costs, putting both out of Barca’s reach.

Hansi Flick Germany 2023

Amidst the coaching conundrum, Pini Zahavi, the agent representing Hansi Flick, made an intriguing appearance during Barcelona’s match against Getafe. Despite Flick’s illustrious accomplishments, including a sextuple triumph with Bayern Munich, subsequent ventures with the German national team and elsewhere have been less fruitful, raising doubts about his suitability for the Camp Nou hot seat. Hence, Barcelona President Joan Laporta has discarded him from the shortlist, according to a report in AS.

Enter De Zerbi, the 44-year-old strategist whose name resonates strongly within Barcelona circles. Despite lacking firsthand experience in La Liga and the nuances of the club’s culture, De Zerbi’s hunger, tactical acumen, and footballing philosophy align closely with Barcelona’s traditional ethos. His successful stints at Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk, characterised by expansive and aesthetically pleasing football, coupled with his current achievements at Brighton, underscore his credentials as a promising managerial prospect.

His representatives, Edmundo Babchi and Edoardo Crnjar, recently engaged in a discussion with with Deco, Barcelona’s sporting director, which signifies the seriousness with which the club view De Zerbi’s potential appointment.


However, Barca might need to pay a transfer fee to land De Zerbi. The manager has a contract with the Seagulls until 2028 but has an exit clause set at €10 million (£9m/$11m). It now remains to be seen if the cash-strapped Catalans will agree to finance the deal to get their preferred successor to Xavi.

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