Barcelona have earmarked Mikel Arteta as a potential replacement for Xavi Hernandez should they part ways with their current manager.
According to SPORT, as relayed by Sport Witness, Mikel Artera is considered a potential managerial candidate to replace Xavi Hernandez. After recent results, plenty of chatter has revolved around the current Barcelona coach, but the Blaugrana may not be in a hurry to show him the door yet.
Barcelona have endured a mixed start to the season after a few disappointments on the road. While they are only a point behind Real Madrid in La Liga, their relegation to the UEFA Europa League has caused plenty of stir among the fanbase.
Their terrible performances in the UEFA Champions League were not envisaged in the summer when they spent beyond their means. Barcelona sold future assets to bring expensive players and create a competitive squad. But barring Robert Lewandowski, no other player has performed admirably to warrant the price paid.
Playing in the Europa League will significantly impact Barcelona’s revenue and reputation. Moreover, those dismal results have cast doubts over manager Xavi Hernandez’s long-term future. The Spanish midfield great has brought in fresh ideas with his attacking brand of football, but results matter very much in Catalunya.
Barcelona have not indicated a desire to replace Xavi in the immediate future. But widespread media reports are linking high-profile names like Luis Enrique as his replacement.
Another one of them would be former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who recently opened up on his sacking at the Premier League side. While Tuchel remains an option, Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta has emerged as a bonafide candidate. The Spaniard is flying with the Gunners in the Premier League, and it is natural for interested parties to make an approach.
The 40-year-old manager has good relations with Barcelona executives Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff. That could help the Catalan giants facilitate a move when necessary. Moreover, Arteta’s progress at Arsenal have been brilliant, with the Gunners currently leading the charts in the Premier League.
Given how well his project has taken off, there is no reason to suspect Arteta might want to leave Arsenal in the immediate future. Moreover, the 40-year-old only committed to a new three-year deal at the end of last season.
As for Xavi, the results may have piled the pressure on Xavi, but there is enough trust in him from Joan Laporta. Hence, a departure shortly could be out of the question. Moreover, Barcelona have faith in Xavi’s project, which they hope will pay dividends in due time.