FC Barcelona have reportedly been offered Antonio Conte as a potential replacement for outgoing head coach Xavi Hernandez, according to SPORT. Following a 5-3 defeat to Villarreal at the Montjuic Stadium last month, Xavi, the legendary midfielder turned coach, announced that he will step down from the high-pressure role on June 30.
With Xavi’s departure looming, various names have been linked to the manager job at Barca, including the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Rafa Marquez, Sergio Conceicao, and Hansi Flick, among others.
However, as confirmed by Sporting Director Deco during an appearance on Esport3 Wednesday night, the Blaugrana has not yet initiated negotiations with any potential successor.
“We haven’t started talking to any coach because we’re still coming to terms with Xavi’s farewell. Additionally, we need to pick up points to get back into the fight for the league, and it’s time to help the team,” Deco stated.
He further emphasized the current focus on addressing important situations within the team, such as injuries to key players like Ferran Torres, Joao Felix, and Alejandro Balde, over discussing the future coach.
Deco highlighted the need to define objectives before engaging in talks with potential candidates, asserting that there is still much to compete for in the ongoing season. He also emphasized that the decision-making process would involve discussions with President Joan Laporta and would be a joint decision.
While the time to make a decision is approaching, Conte has emerged as a possible candidate, fitting the profile of a “top” coach reportedly sought after by the Blaugrana. Despite concerns about his performance in the Champions League, Conte boasts an impressive track record, having won four Serie A titles with Juventus and Inter Milan, as well as Chelsea’s sixth and last Premier League crown in 2017.
Although his recent tenure at Tottenham Hotspur ended on a sour note, with his dismissal in March 2023, Conte’s period away from management might have provided him with the opportunity to rejuvenate and refocus, potentially making him an attractive option for Barcelona as they seek to regain their former glory.