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Barcelona 'have verbal agreement with 59-year-old if Xavi leaves'

Barcelona 'have verbal agreement with 59-year-old if Xavi leaves'
© Reuters
Barcelona reportedly strike a verbal agreement with former Bayern Munich and Germany boss Hansi Flick to take charge if Xavi leaves the club this summer.

Barcelona have reportedly struck a verbal agreement with a Champions League-winning manager, who will take over in the event that Xavi leaves the club.

Just one day after Jurgen Klopp revealed he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season in January, Xavi astonishingly announced that he would resign from his position in the summer.

Xavi made the revelation after a 5-3 loss to Villarreal in La Liga, and his side ceded their Spanish top-flight crown to Real Madrid with a whimper, while also going out to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Xavi's announcement triggered an overall upturn in form for Barcelona, though, and after weeks of reaffirming that he would not change his mind, the Spaniard eventually performed a shock U-turn and decided to stay at Camp Nou.

However, recent developments means that Xavi's Catalonian future is still in limbo, as the board were supposedly considering sacking him after comments he made about the club's financial situation.

Germany coach Hansi Flick before the match on September 9, 2023© Reuters

Hansi Flick 'ready to take Barcelona reins'

The Barcelona boss recently insisted that nothing had changed surrounding his future, but president Joan Laporta was alleged to have been left unhappy with his comments, and his position at Camp Nou is still not totally secure.

Amid uncertainty surrounding Xavi's next move, journalist Florian Plettenberg claims that Barcelona have struck a verbal agreement with Hansi Flick, formerly of Bayern Munich and Germany.

The 59-year-old has been out of work since leaving his Germany post in September 2023, overseeing a dismal spell in charge which saw Die Mannschaft suffer a group-stage exit in the 2022 World Cup.

Prior to his ill-fated national team stint, though, Flick won seven trophies in the space of just two years with Bayern Munich, leading the Bavarian powerhouses to Champions League glory in the 2019-20 season.

Plettenberg adds that Barcelona president Laporta is 100% convinced by Flick, who has presented the club with a "clear plan" for progression and will be ready to take charge straight away if Xavi ends up departing.

Which other managers have Barcelona pursued?

Despite Xavi's repeated insistence that nothing could make him change his mind, Laporta and sporting director Deco were always confident of twisting the Spaniard's arm, and how prophetic they were.

After all of their efforts to keep Xavi on the books, though, the latest laughable developments could see the 44-year-old head for the exit door after all, and a plethora of top coaches have been tipped to take the reins in his place.

Klopp was believed to be the dream, but the German has no interest in taking charge of another club for a while yet, although Roberto De Zerbi has now been severed from his Brighton & Hove Albion contract and - crucially - his mammoth release clause.

Links with Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and soon-to-be ex-Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel led nowhere either, but if Xavi has burned too many bridges with the powers-that-be, Barcelona seem to have finally found their man.

The 44-year-old could therefore take charge of his final Blaugrana match on Sunday, when the second-placed outfit close their La Liga campaign away to Sevilla.

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