Barcelona’s Deco interested in former teammate and Jose Mourinho pupil as Xavi Hernandez replacement



Barcelona have already begun the hunt for their next manager following the resignation of Xavi Hernandez on Saturday night, and will be beginning to draw up their shortlists of coaches. The decision will be taken by a committee of six people, and Sporting Director Deco will be charged with presenting that group his favoured options.

Barca Atletic manager Rafael Marquez, Bologna manager Thiago Motta, Girona’s Michel Sanchez and Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil have all been mentioned as potential targets from before Christmas, but several new names have been suggested since Xavi’s departure.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been touted, but that has since been shut down by various sources, while in Germany Hansi Flick has been given a good chance at the job. Thomas Tuchel has also hinted that he would be happy to move to Spain.

According to MD, Deco is also a fan of Sergio Conceicao. He was impressed with the intensity and attacking football they played against Barcelona in the Champions League, pressing high throughout their two ties. The pair go back, sharing a dressing room under Jose Mourinho at Porto in the 2003-04 season, and have maintained good relations since.

Conceicao is also a client of agent Jorge Mendes, who has close links with Barcelona President Joan Laporta, and was responsible for the Blaugrana signing Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo this past summer, perhaps making it an easier option.

The 49-year-old is out of contract in the summer, and has already been linked with Newcastle United. Conceicao has been in charge of Porto for six-and-a-half years, securing three Portuguese leagues and three Portuguese Cups in that time. Prior, he had spells at Nantes, Vitoria Guimaraes, Braga, Coimbra and Olhanense.



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