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Barcelona 'open talks with Hansi Flick over replacing Xavi'

Barcelona 'open talks with Hansi Flick over replacing Xavi'
© Reuters
Barcelona reportedly open discussions with former Germany and Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick over replacing Xavi as head coach this summer.

Barcelona have reportedly opened talks with former Bayern Munich and Germany boss Hansi Flick over the manager's job at Camp Nou.

At the end of the season, the reigning La Liga champions will part ways with current head coach Xavi, who announced his resignation in a press conference after a 5-3 loss to Villarreal in January.

Since the 44-year-old's bombshell, Barcelona have hit a rich vein of form with four wins and two draws from their last six games in all competitions, leading to suggestions that Xavi could perform a surprise U-turn.

President Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco have not given up hope of keeping Xavi in the hotseat, but the former Blaugrana midfielder has reiterated his desire to leave the club once the campaign concludes.

Ever since Xavi first revealed his intention to step down, a plethora of renowned coaches have been tipped to take over from the erstwhile Al-Sadd manager, including the unattached Flick.

Barcelona coach Xavi on February 21, 2024© Reuters

According to journalist Florian Plettenberg, Barcelona have now held "concrete" discussions with the German, who is one of their prime candidates to succeed Xavi for the 2024-25 campaign.

Flick is understood to be open to taking the reins in Catalonia, and he has been a target for president Laporta even before becoming manager of Germany in the summer of 2021, a few months before Xavi replaced Ronald Koeman as Barca head coach.

The 59-year-old would also be able to start work in Catalonia immediately, having been relieved of his duties as Germany head coach in September of last year after a miserable five-game winless run.

Flick's final match in charge of Die Mannschaft ended in a 4-1 friendly hammering at the hands of Japan, prior to which Germany were knocked out in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup and also failed to make the 2022-23 Nations League finals.

Despite his failed reign at the Germany helm, Flick already has plenty of credit in the bank thanks to his stellar accomplishments with Bayern Munich, whom he won seven trophies with from 2019 to 2021.

Germany head coach Hansi Flick pictured on December 1, 2022© Reuters

The Bavarian giants won a famous sextuple under his tutelage, being crowned champions in the Champions League, Bundesliga (twice), Club World Cup, DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and German Super Cup before he answered Germany's call.

Last month, Flick was reported to have appointed Pini Zahavi as his new agent amid interest from Barcelona, who have several other candidates lined up if negotiations with the 59-year-old collapse.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi, Inter Milan's Simone Inzaghi, former Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick and Thomas Tuchel - who will leave Bayern at the end of the season - have all been linked with the role in Catalonia.

However, Barcelona have supposedly given up hope of hiring Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who recently rubbished reports from the Spanish media claiming that he would leave the Gunners this summer.

Jurgen Klopp is still believed to be Barca's dream candidate, and the German is rumoured to be open to exploring a move to Spain, but he will take a year-long sabbatical after his exit from Liverpool at the end of the season.

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