Barcelona welcome Granada to the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Sunday (February 11) in their next game in La Liga. Xavi’s team come into the game with four wins in their last five league games.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte is reportedly not in talks to take charge at Camp Nou. Elsewhere, Frenkie de Jong is said to be eager to stay with the Catalan giants.
On that note, let’s take a look at the major Barcelona transfer stories from February 11, 2024.
Antonio Conte not in talks to take over at Barcelona
Barcelona haven’t approached Antonio Conte to replace Xavi at Camp Nou this summer, according to acclaimed journalist Fabrizio Romano. The Spanish tactician has decided to leave his position at the end of the season and the club are looking for his successor.
Some recent reports claimed that Conte offered himself for the to-be vacant manager post. However, in his column for Caught Offside, Romano insisted that the Italian was not in the running for the job.
“I’m told it’s not true that Antonio Conte has been offered to the club as a candidate to be their next manager. At the moment there is nothing ongoing between Conte and Barca, it’s all quiet. The same is true with Thiago Motta – he is not in the frame for the job at the moment, he’s going to stay in Italy and work in Italy next season. It’s also completely quiet with Rafael Marquez,” wrote Romano.
“With Hansi Flick, I’m told he would be super happy to come to Barca, he’s super open to this possibility. But it’s on Barca – Laporta and Deco have to decide who is the manager they want, and at the moment they have not made a decision, it will still be some time before we know the new Barca coach.”
Conte is yet to take up his next assignment since parting ways with Tottenham Hotspur last year.
Frenkie de Jong wants to stay
However, a recent report from Relevo claimed that the Catalans were ready to let him leave this year to address their financial woes. The Red Devils are said to be still hot on his heels, but they are not the only club interested.
SPORT recently reported that Chelsea were ready to offer €100m for the 26-year-old. Arsenal have also been mentioned as a potential suitor by other reports.
However, it now appears that De Jong has no desire to leave the La Liga champions. The Dutchman is a key member of the first-team squad and has appeared 22 times across competitions this season.
His contract with Barcelona runs until 2026, and there’s an option to extend his stay until 2029.
Iker Casillas offers support to Xavi
Iker Casillas has lamented the constant demand for success that has cost Xavi his job. The Spanish manager has announced that he will leave Barcelona this summer amid an underwhelming season so far
The Catalan side are 11 points off league leaders Real Madrid in the table, while they also failed to win the Copa del Rey. Xavi’s side then lost the Supercopa de Espana final to Real Madrid in January and the manager finally gave in to the pressure last month.
Speaking to MARCA, Casillas pointed out that people seem to forget that Barcelona won the La Liga title last season.
“The shame with football is that people have no memory. They don’t remember what you’ve been doing for so long. He’s been a legendary player at the club, he’s been involved now as a coach at Barcelona, winning a league last season,” said Casillas.
“But this so fast and so imminent that you’re already being asked for success again. Every day, every three days. Surely he must have made the best decision for himself, for his family and for his group as a whole. If he has made this decision, it is because he had made it a long time ago.”