Barcelona make progress on managerial hunt as Joan Laporta discards three candidates



Barcelona have not yet spoken to any coaches about the upcoming vacancy being left by Xavi Hernandez, according to Sporting Director Deco. President Joan Laporta has now outlined exactly what he wants in his new coach though – a name brand.

According to Catalan paper Sport, either Barcelona will bring in a ‘top’ manager who has been there and done it, or it will be Barca Atletic manager Rafael Marquez who is asked to shepherd the side forward next year.

That would rule out more recent arrivals to the top of the game in Thiago Motta and Michel Sanchez, although they do say that the Girona man has backers on the board. Former Chelsea and Juventus coach Antonio Conte certainly is a top manager, but stylistically is not considered a fit, while Mikel Arteta and Thomas Tuchel have ruled themselves out of the job.

The ‘dream’ coach remains Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, although they would have to persuade the German to forego a sabbatical after nine straight years at Anfield. Despite reports of Barcelona having spoken to former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick, those contacts are denied, but their interest in him remains. They also do not rule out the emergence of an as yet unnamed candidate. While they have four months to find a successor, the likelihood is that Barcelona will try to do a deal shortly so as to involve the new manager in the remodelling of their squad.

Following the line of reporting, it would mean that Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil, who is a top coach but does not have the media pull that others do, is presumably out of the race. The same would go for Las Palmas manager and ex-La Masia coach Francisco Javier Garcia Pimienta, but it would keep Julian Nagelsmann in the running, who is reportedly open to a move to Barcelona.



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