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Barcelona eyes Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi as potential successor to Xavi amid release clause hurdles

Posted : 18 February 2024

Barcelona is in the midst of the speculation whirlwind regarding who will take over from Xavi as head coach, and Roberto De Zerbi, the current Brighton manager, is emerging as a prominent candidate, as per reports.


The Spanish ace indicates that De Zerbi is a highly sought-after name among Barcelona's management, and the club's president, Joan Laporta, is reportedly considering him as the top choice for the coaching position. However, the major stumbling block in finalizing the move is De Zerbi's hefty release clause of approximately €10 million, creating challenges in negotiating the terms of the potential transfer.


Brighton's Italian coach has been making waves with his impressive performance, leading the team to a notable sixth-place finish last season and maintaining a strong position in ninth place in the current league season.


Additionally, Brighton's commendable display in the Europa League, where they topped a challenging group featuring Marseille and Ajax, has further fueled interest in De Zerbi's coaching capabilities. Despite the complexities surrounding the release clause, the coach's representatives have engaged in discussions with Barcelona's sporting director, Deco, indicating ongoing efforts to reach a suitable agreement with the English club.


While De Zerbi's name dominates the current coaching speculation, earlier reports from German and Catalan media unanimously suggested that Hansi Flick was the frontrunner to succeed Xavi. Recent updates from Bild's senior journalist, Christian Falk, even highlighted Flick's proactive steps, such as learning Spanish, signaling his preparation for the potential role at Barcelona, if offered, at the end of the season.


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