Exclusive: Confirmed name on Barcelona shortlist to replace Xavi Hernandez

Barcelona are on the lookout for their next manager after Xavi Hernandez shocked Spain with by announcing his exit at the end of the season. President Joan Laporta and Sporting Director Deco have five months to find that replacement, but already they have some names in mind.

In the last few months it has been reported that Bologna manager Thiago Motta is to their liking, as is the case for Girona coach Michel Sanchez. Barca Atletic manager Rafael Marquez has also been touted as a potential option, and is the most likely to take over on an interim basis should it be necessary.

Another coach in La Liga that has been working wonders for several years is Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil. Matteo Moretto has confirmed on The Daily Briefing that he is one of the names on Barcelona’s shortlist, although they have not made an approach for him or anyone else yet.

Alguacil has qualified Real Sociedad for European football in each of the last four full seasons since he returned to the post, securing a top four finish last year, and a Copa del Rey trophy in 2021. This year they have a tough job to reach the same feat in La Liga, but have the best defence in the Champions League and qualified top of their group ahead of Inter.

Whomever replaces Xavi will be the third manager three years for Laporta, and by no means has an easy task. It looks as if the Blaugrana will be battling their salary limit once again in the summer, meaning their spending power will be limited. Equally there will be some tough decisions to make over the future of Robert Lewandowski and whether to pursue permanent deals for Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo.


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