International Soccer

Liverpool handed boost after Barcelona rule managerial target out of race to succeed Xavi

Barcelona sporting director Deco has questioned the credentials of Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim and effectively ruled him out of the race to replace Xavi this summer.

Xavi will stand down from his role as Barca’s head coach at the end of the 2023/24 season and there has been plenty of speculation over who his successor will be.

Like Barcelona, Liverpool are also on the hunt for a new manager with Jurgen Klopp leaving the club at the end of the season.

Both have been linked with 39-year-old Amorim, who has done a stellar job at Sporting since his appointment in 2020, notably leading them to their first Portuguese title in 19 years during his first full season.

Xavi Hernandez

Xavi’s time at Barcelona is nearing an end / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

The Daily Mail recently reported that Amorim will be considered by Liverpool as a Klopp successor. However, he looks unlikely to be in the thoughts of those at Barcelona.

During a recent trip to his native Portugal, Deco fielded questions about the state of Barca and was asked about the possibility of one of his countrymen heading to Catalonia.

“Now, all hypotheses are on the table. But which Portuguese coach? How many are prepared to take charge of Barcelona, ​​its weight and responsibility? Furthermore, this Barcelona, ​​with all the difficulties that entails. I know that Ruben Amorim is doing a good job at Sporting and that he plays a similar style to Barcelona, ​​but I think he has very little experience,” he replied, as quoted by SPORT.

Amorim is not the only Portuguese manager to have been linked with Barcelona recently, with Porto’s Sergio Conceicao another name said to have been on the club’s radar.

Other managers said to be of interest to Barcelona include former midfielder Thiago Motta, who is currently pushing for a Champions League spot in Serie A with Bologna, and youth team coach Rafa Marquez, who 242 appearances for La Blaugrana in the 2000s.

Barcelona have been tentatively linked with Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso, who is widely believed to be Liverpool’s number one candidate to replace Klopp.

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