Hansi Flick reportedly set to take over at FC Barcelona

Hansi Flick reportedly set to take over at FC Barcelona

In a major shake-up at FC Barcelona, Hansi Flick is reportedly on the brink of being appointed as the club's new manager, replacing Xavi Hernandez.

This significant move follows an urgent trip to London by Barcelona's sporting director Deco and committee member Bojan Krkic, as reported by Diario AS.

The meeting in London included Flick's agent, Pini Zahavi. Despite initial denials, it has been confirmed that an agreement in principle has been reached for Flick to manage Barcelona for the next two seasons. This was first reported by 'El Chiringuito' and later confirmed by AS, indicating a pivotal change for the Catalan giants.

Barcelona now face the challenge of resolving the contractual situation of current manager Xavi and his coaching staff. Xavi has not been officially informed of the decision yet. Sources suggest that Alejandro Echevarria, a former brother-in-law of club president Joan Laporta, had hinted at a possible negotiated exit to Xavi.

An official notification is expected to follow Sunday's match against Sevilla, with a formal meeting scheduled early next week where Deco will present the reasons for Xavi's dismissal. The board is expected to ratify this decision on Thursday with no significant opposition anticipated.

Financial terms of Xavi's departure are also under discussion. Reports indicate that Xavi is willing to forgo a substantial portion of his remaining contract, provided the club honours commitments to his support staff. Xavi has previously shown a willingness to relinquish the entirety of his final year's salary, a stance he reiterated with his deferred resignation announcement in January.

Xavi's position is increasingly precarious as he prepares for Sunday's match against Sevilla amid growing speculation about Flick's imminent arrival. The team's attempts to shield themselves from external pressures have been challenging, and Xavi faces the daunting task of managing the team and addressing the media in the coming days.

Hansi Flick has long been on Barcelona's radar. Following Xavi's announcement of his eventual departure, Flick emerged as a favourite for Laporta. Flick's agent, Zahavi, enjoys a trusted relationship with Laporta, further bolstering Flick's candidacy. Demonstrating his commitment, Flick has been learning Spanish and studying Barcelona's footballing philosophy.

He even travelled to Brighton to observe Roberto De Zerbi's side, praised by Pep Guardiola for their positional play. Flick's recent decision to reject Chelsea's managerial offer, following Mauricio Pochettino's departure, underscores his dedication to Barcelona.

Laporta has always admired German football's methodologies. Upon becoming president, he pursued Julian Nagelsmann and Thomas Tuchel before appointing Ronald Koeman, who was dismissed three months into the season.

Flick's credentials are impeccable; he led Bayern Munich to a historic sextuple-winning season, which included an 8-2 victory over Barcelona. Despite his short tenure at Bayern, managing 86 matches over two seasons, Flick's success was unparalleled. His subsequent stint as Germany's national team coach was less distinguished, managing 25 matches before a period of unemployment lasting nearly eight months.

All signs point to Flick's appointment being officially announced. With his proven track record and tactical acumen, Flick's arrival could herald a new era of success for Barcelona. 

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