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Barcelona 'to push for Jurgen Klopp appointment this summer'

Barcelona 'to push for Jurgen Klopp appointment this summer'
© Reuters
Barcelona reportedly plan to pull out all the stops in a bid to convince outgoing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to join the club as their new manager this summer.

Barcelona will reportedly pull out all the stops in a bid to convince outgoing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to join the club as their new manager this summer.

Within the space of 48 hours, both Klopp and Blaugrana head coach Xavi sent shockwaves around Europe as they announced that they would step down from their positions at the end of the season.

Klopp explained that he was simply losing the energy to continue in the highly-pressurised environment, having already won seven major honours during his eight-and-a-half years in charge of the Merseyside giants.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss told Liverpool media that he is not sure what the future has in store for him, but if he does step back into the world of management, it will not be with another English club.

Klopp has been widely expected to take a year-long sabbatical before making a firm decision on his next career move, and links with the Germany job have unsurprisingly started to re-emerge after the DFB tried and failed to convince him to join after the 2022 World Cup.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on January 24, 2024© Reuters

The 56-year-old is believed to be one of three names high on Barcelona's shortlist as potential replacements for Xavi, though, and according to Sport, the Blaugrana have made him their number one candidate.

The report alleges that Klopp has always had a yearning to manage in La Liga, and Barcelona believe that the Red boss could be persuaded into delaying his time off with the right proposal.

However, Barcelona's ongoing financial concerns could hamper their chances of bringing Klopp to Camp Nou, as the German would require plentiful funds to mould the squad into his own vision, which the Blaugrana do not have.

Barca would therefore have to axe several names from the wage bill before making an official approach for his services, but the La Liga champions have also drawn up a list of backup options to the Premier League and Champions League winner.

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta is admired, and previous reports from the Spanish press claimed that the 41-year-old had informed the Gunners that he would also be relinquishing control of the reins, but he quickly rubbished such claims.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on December 31, 2023© Reuters

Nevertheless, the Blaugrana retain an interest in their former academy product, while Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann will be available if his contract is not extended beyond the conclusion of Euro 2024.

Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel - who replaced Nagelsmann in Bavaria - has also hinted that he would be open to managing Barcelona, although Bayern quickly released a statement clarifying his comments.

Bologna's Thiago Motta, Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi and Girona's Michel are also on the Blaugrana shortlist, and former defender Rafael Marquez - who currently manages their Atletic squad - is open to a promotion to the top job.

Xavi publicly announced his resignation after Barcelona's 5-3 home loss to Villarreal in La Liga, claiming that managing the Spanish champions is a "cruel" and "unpleasant" experience and also hitting out at sections of the media.

In their first game since Xavi's bombshell, Barcelona sunk Osasuna 1-0 on Wednesday thanks to a Vitor Roque goal, and they sit fourth in the La Liga table after 22 games, 10 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

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