Barcelona are third in La Liga after 23 games, eight points behind leaders Real Madrid (58). Xavi’s men next face Granada at home on Sunday (February 11) in the league.
Meanwhile, former Bayern Munich and Germany boss Hansi Flick is eager to take charge at the Camp Nou this summer. Elsewhere, the Blaugrana are interested in on-loan Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Barcelona transfer stories as on February 6, 2024:
Hansi Flick wants Barcelona job, says journalist
Hansi Flick is eager to take over from Xavi at the Camp Nou, according to journalist Christian Falk.
Barcelona are looking for a new manager following Xavi’s decision to leave at the end of the season. Flick, who worked wonders with Bayern Munich before a disastrous stint with Germany, is on their shortlist. The German manager is a long-term target for the Blaugrana and reportedly turned them down in 2021.
Speaking to BILD, Falk added that Flick is learning the local language to help him settle down quickly if he gets the job.
“Barcelona have indicated to him that he is on the shortlist. He would like to coach Barcelona. He was even on vacation in Spain recently. In addition, he is learning Spanish, which is another sign that it would be a challenge he would like to accept,” said Falk.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who’s set to leave this summer, is another name linked to the Spanish champions.
Blaugrana eyeing Joao Cancelo stay
Barcelona sporting director Deco has said that the club are planning to tie Joao Cancelo down to a new deal.
The Portuguese full-back joined the club on loan from Manchester City in the summer and has done an admirable job. Cancelo has appeared 25 times across competitions this season, registering three goals and as many assists.
The 29-year-old has made the right-back position his own, and his efforts have sparked talk of a permanent stay at the Camp Nou. The Portuguese’s ability to operate at left-back and attack has also endeared him to the La Liga champions.
Speaking recently, as cited by acclaimed transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Deco added that the Blaugrana also want Joao Felix to stay.
“Cancelo is doing very well. Felix started very well too, and he brought us very important points. It will depend on many factors. … We will try to sign both of them,” said Deco.
Felix arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid at the start of the season and has seven goals and five assists in 28 outings across competitions.
Deco opens up on managerial search at Camp Nou
Deco has said that the club are yet to initiate talks with potential candidates for the hot seat at the Camp Nou.
Xavi recently announced that he will part ways with Barcelona at the end of the season, and the club are looking for his replacement. The Spanish manager has overseen a poor season, failing to defend the Spanish Supercup title and also exiting the Copa del Rey.
Speaking recently, as cited by MARCA, Deco said that he understands Xavi’s reasons for deciding to leave.
“He (Xavi) has already explained himself a lot. My feeling is that La Liga that was won last year was not valued too much, and it should have been done.
“The fans celebrated it, but the press and the general public downplayed its importance. And I understand the demand, but I also understand Xavi’s frustration at not feeling valued,” said Deco.
Deco also gave a rough outline of the managerial profile the La Liga giants are looking for.
“At the moment, we haven’t spoken to any coach. We are assessing the departure of the coach. The decision will be the club’s. Decisions are not made by one person.
“Whoever comes in has to follow a line of work. We will hardly be a team that doesn’t want to play well, that doesn’t want to have the ball,” said Deco.
“Based on this idea, each coach has his own characteristics, but whoever comes in must have ambition and hunger to do great things. And he must know where he is coming from.
“I don’t follow (Thiago) Motta’s work much because he’s not in an Italian team that I usually watch (he’s at Bologna). I do follow Marquez because he is here. He is a young coach who is growing in the face of difficulties. Being here will make him a better coach.”
Rafael Marquez, who manages the youth team, recently admitted that he would like to take charge of the senior squad.