Barcelona rule out Portuguese coach to replace Xavi

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta is pictured at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on September 2, 2023. Barcelona signed Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix and Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo on loan until the end of the season.
Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Urgent changes are needed at FC Barcelona if the club wants to make positive progress. The tenure of Xavi Hernandez has not proven to be as successful as they would have hoped and his departure is now only a matter of time.

Now, with Xavi having confirmed that he will leave, Barcelona are working towards finding a replacement. The only issue is that finding a coach on such short notice can be problematic given the lack of options in that specific market. For now, only a handful of possible arrivals exist in fact.

One of those managers who themselves would be willing to arrive is reportedly current FC Porto coach Sergio Conceicao. Jorge Mendes, the agent of both the manager and many star players around the world, has reportedly offered Barcelona the opportunity to take the coach once his tenure at Porto ends in the summer.

However, as highlighted by SPORT, Barcelona has no interest in agreeing to this proposal. Barcelona president Joan Laporta, in particular, stands against the choice and does not believe that the current Porto coach is the right man to lead the Barcelona project.

From the president’s perspective, Conceicao is a student of a much more physical and strength-based philosophy than the typical technical lovers of Barcelona. Moreover, his reliance on a 4-4-2 formation goes against the principles of Barcelona and their 4-3-3. For these reasons, Laporta is not a firm supporter of his arrival.

Moreover, due to the coach’s reputation of being quite a strong character, there is some uncertainty. While managers like that have a positive side to them, it can also lead to confrontations with players themselves. With that having already happened in the case of Conceicao, there is a slight level of wariness when it comes to his possible arrival.

Instead, Laporta dreams of bringing in someone like Jurgen Klopp or even possibly Roberto De Zerbi. However, at least in the case of the Liverpool coach, it seems that the possibility of that happening is slight. The German coach wants to take some time off from coaching after this season, and Laporta’s insistence would still not be enough to lure him back in right away.

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