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Barca to make first approach for ambitious Xavi replacement, it would be huge if they pull it off

Barca to make first approach for ambitious Xavi replacement, it would be huge if they pull it off

Barcelona have an ambitious target in mind.

Barcelona would send shockwaves through the football world if they hire an unlikely candidate to succeed Xavi Hernandez as manager.

Following a 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal last week, Xavi made the surprise announcement that he will step down as Barca manager at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old returned to his boyhood club as head coach in 2021, six years after his illustrious playing career at Camp Nou came to an end.

Xavi won everything there is to win during a 17-year career at Barca, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders in history.

Despite his side winning La Liga last season, Xavi has come under intense scrutiny this term with Barcelona falling way off the pace in the title race.

With Barca already out of the Copa del Rey and trailing Real Madrid by seven points in La Liga, the Champions League is the only major competition Xavi's side can realistically win - and that itself appears unlikely.

The Spanish World Cup winner was brutally honest when explaining his reasons for stepping down.

He told reporters: "The feeling of being a Barca coach is unpleasant, it is cruel.

"You feel that they disrespect you many times, that your work is not valued and it is a terrible drain on mental health and mood. I am a very positive guy but the energy is going down to the point that you say that it makes no sense to continue."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta and his board are now on the lookout for a new coach, and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has emerged as a surprise candidate.

Klopp joined Liverpool in October 2015 (Getty)
Klopp joined Liverpool in October 2015 (Getty)

The day before Xavi's announcement, Klopp confirmed that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season after nine years in charge.

According to TV3 (via Actualite Barca) Laporta has told his trusted inner circle at the club that they should try to convince Klopp to make the switch to Catalonia.

However, Klopp would likely take a lot of convincing.

Like Xavi, the German cited tiredness and fatigue as one of the factors behind his decision, and 56-year-old plans to take a sabbatical and enjoy a well-earned rest.

Hansi Flick, Michel (Girona), Imanol Alguacil (Real Sociedad), Thiago Motta (Bologna), and Rafael Marquez (Barca B) are other candidates Barca are considering.

Klopp has every intention of enjoying some time off, but it would take a disciplined man to turn down the top job at Barcelona.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, Barcelona, Xavi