Five managers who could replace Xavi at Barcelona


FOOTBALL Five managers who could replace Xavi at Barcelona

Festus Chuma 10:00 - 30.01.2024

As Xavi departs, Barcelona explores potential replacements, including prominent candidates from both domestic and international backgrounds to lead the team.

Barcelona manager Xavi on the weekend revealed he will step down at the end of the season marking the conclusion of an era that began in November 2021 when he left Qatari club Al Sadd to return to his beloved Camp Nou.

 Xavi, the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, made a significant impact during his tenure, guiding Barca to the Spanish title in his first full season in charge in 2022-23.

 However, Saturday's 5-3 home defeat by Villarreal left them 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid. With Xavi's departure on the horizon, the search for his successor is in full swing. 

Pulse Sports has identified five potential successors who could step into the esteemed shoes of the football legend.

 Thiago Motta

Like Xavi, Thiago Motta shares a deep-rooted history with Camp Nou, having initially joined the club as a 17-year-old back in 1999. 

Although his playing career at Barcelona was marred by injuries, Motta still managed to collect Champions League and La Liga winners' medals, earning a special place in the hearts of Barca supporters. 

After retiring in 2018, Motta transitioned into coaching, leaving a mark at clubs like Genoa and Spezia before taking over as the head coach at Bologna in September 2022.

Under his guidance, Bologna has risen as top-four contenders in Serie A, drawing praise for their progressive and intense style of play. 

Motta's close relationship with Deco, Barca's current sporting director, could make him a compelling candidate to lead the Catalan giants.

Jurgen Klopp

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is a known admirer of Jurgen Klopp, the charismatic German manager who recently announced his intention to leave Liverpool. 

Klopp, who is taking an extended break from management after nine years at Anfield, could be an exciting prospect for Barca. 


Klopp's infectious energy, astute man-management skills, and track record of success make him a coveted target. 

If he secures a second Premier League title with Liverpool, his stock will be higher than ever, making him a dream appointment for the club. 

The only potential obstacle could be his high wage demands, but the allure of managing Barcelona might be enough to tempt him to Spain.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta, the current Arsenal manager, has made strides in revitalizing the Gunners during his tenure. 

While he has only won one FA Cup during his four years at Arsenal, Arteta deserves credit for making them title contenders once again. 

Mikel Arteta

His coaching qualities, influenced by his time working under Pep Guardiola, align with the ethos of Barcelona's famed academy, La Masia. 

Reports suggest that Arteta is on Deco's three-man shortlist to succeed Xavi. Having graduated from Barcelona's youth academy, Arteta has the club's core values ingrained in him.

 While it would be a shock to see Arteta leave Arsenal, the prospect of a new challenge in his homeland might be too tempting to resist if he fails to bring silverware to the Emirates Stadium this season.


At Girona, Michel has showcased his ability to extract peak performance from relatively unknown players, elevating the team's status in La Liga. 

Despite occasional defensive vulnerabilities, Girona's attacking prowess and aggression have been a breath of fresh air. 


Michel's tactics could breathe life into Barcelona, where the style of play has grown stagnant at times this season. 

As a member of the City Football Group system, Michel has garnered more exposure than most managers in similar positions. Notably, Girona handed Barcelona a surprising 4-2 defeat, showcasing Michel's ability to outwit his opponents.

Julen Lopetegui

Julen Lopetegui is another viable option available either immediately or at the end of the season. 

With previous experience at clubs like Porto and Sevilla, Lopetegui has demonstrated his managerial acumen.

Julen Lopetegui

 Despite a brief and tumultuous stint with Real Madrid, he rebuilt his reputation with Sevilla, securing the Europa League title. 

Lopetegui's Premier League experience and proficiency in English communication skills place him above other candidates. 

His ability to bring stability to a club in turmoil and shore up a shaky defense could make him a serious contender if Barcelona decides that Xavi cannot stay until June.

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