Former Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reportedly been offered to Barcelona as a potential Xavi Hernandez replacement.
Just moments after Barca’s 5-3 LaLiga loss against Villarreal on January 27, Xavi announced that he would leave his role as the club’s manager at the end of the season. He first took charge of the Blaugranas in November 2021 and led them to the league title and the Supercopa de Espana last season.
However, Barcelona’s struggles in the current campaign are there for all to see. They are out of the Copa del Rey, lost the Supercopa final to Real Madrid (4-1), and sit third in LaLiga, trailing leaders Madrid by eight points after 23 matches.
Not long after Xavi’s announcement, Deco stated that Barca were surprised by the manager’s decision to step down and that they were counting on him for next season. However, his imminent exit means the Catalan club will have to look for a replacement sooner rather than later.
According to Spanish outlet SPORT (h/t TheBootRoom), Conte is a possible candidate, although he isn’t the favorite to take up the role. He is currently without a club since parting with Tottenham Hotspur in March last year and is reportedly open to managing Barca.
Conte’s major achievements include winning the Serie A title four times — three with Juventus and one with Inter Milan. The 54-year-old Italian also led Chelsea to a Premier League title in his debut season in England (2016-17) and won the FA Cup the following season.
Although regarded as one of the top managers, Conte has also drawn criticism for his defense-oriented set-up that largely sees a back three with advanced full-backs. His pitch-side behavior also seems to get him into controversial situations more than most.
Barcelona intend to approach Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp over manager role – reports
According to Diario AS (h/t Football-Espana), Jurgen Klopp has been earmarked as a potential replacement for Xavi Hernandez at Barcelona.
The Catalan giants apparently intend to approach the German in the near future about joining them as a manager. For the unversed, he will leave Liverpool at the end of the campaign, ending a nine-season association with the club.
However, Klopp has himself confirmed that he will take a minimum one-year break from management after leaving Anfield. The former Borussia Dortmund head coach won every major trophy with the Reds, including the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League and the Premier League title the following season.
Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola has also been linked with Barca but his current Manchester City deal doesn’t expire until the end of next season.