Barcelona cut their managerial shortlist to four candidates – report

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann is pictured prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern Munich in Leverkusen, western Germany on February 10, 2024.
Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images

Since Xavi Hernandez’s announcement of his decision to leave FC Barcelona at the end of January, the Catalans have been busy looking for the most ideal coach to replace him and lead the club’s next sporting project.

During this time, Deco and his team has assessed and examined several options for this position, but Barcelona are yet to decide on who will be the team’s next head coach.

The latest news in this regard has been provided by SPORT, which claims that this process has reached its latter phases, as the Catalans have already made a final list with four candidates remaining.

These four candidates are Roberto de Zerbi, Thomas Tuchel, Hansi Flick, and Julian Nagelsmann. Laporta and Deco will make a final decision about one of these candidates in a month.

Some options that were highly compelling for the club but were very difficult to succeed, like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have been discarded, but the club will also have to weigh the pros and cons of the remaining four names.

For instance, the club has received very encouraging reports about Roberto de Zerbi, who is perhaps the most exciting option on this list, and who is also keen to join Barcelona. However, he still has a valid contract with Brighton and Hove Albion, who will not let him leave for below €15 million.

However, paying such a big sum is a risk that Barcelona does not want to take, especially as this figure would put extra pressure on the coach. Thus, the Catalans will want to get him only if he can get himself free.

In this regard, the other three options have an advantage, as Flick is currently without a team, Tuchel is expected to be free from Bayern Munich this summer, and Nagelsmann would leave the German national team after the UEFA EURO 2024.

But there are doubts about these coaches too. Barcelona are not totally convinced by Flick, even though he has engaged Zahavi, who has very good relations with the Catalan club. Similarly, Tuchel’s stint at Bayern also makes him a risky option for Barcelona.

The last remaining option, Julian Nagelsmann, is thus the coach that convinces the Catalans to some degree, especially as his training and playing methods are also in line with the Barcelona philosophy. Thus it will be interesting to see who will end up on the Barcelona bench next season.

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