Deco speaks out on managers linked with Barcelona job

An update on Barcelona’s search for Xavi Hernandez’s successor as manager of the Spanish giants has been provided today by sporting director Deco.

Xavi confirmed in the immediate aftermath of their dramatic 4-2 defeat to Villarreal weeks ago that he would be stepping down as Barca manager at the end of the season. Consequently, the club are now exploring various different managerial candidates and are approaching them to convince them to be the face of the new project.

Rafa Marquez, who is the head-coach of the academy team, has been tipped to become Xavi’s successor in recent days. As reported by Fabrizio Romano, Deco has shown his admiration for Marquez’s work in the academy, but has dismissed suggestions that he is prime candidate to become Xavi’s successor.

He said: “He’s improving as a coach. The experience in the Academy is great because he’s improving in the difficulties.

“But he’s young, we are not working to bring him as first team coach right now.”

Decorated manager Pep Guardiola has also been linked with a return to Catalan club and this is mainly because of his great success last time he was in charge of the club. During his time in charge, he claimed two Champions League titles, three La Liga championships, two Copa del Reys, three Spanish Cups, two European Super Cups and two World Club Cups. His most successful season was in 2008/09 when his team managed to secure an unprecedented treble that consisted of the La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.

Despite this, the Portuguese sporting director has dismissed that there has been any contact with Guardiola.

He added: “We are not speaking to any manager, really. Zero talks.

“Pep Guardiola is under contract with another club, I’d never speak about him – it’d be disrespectful to Man City.”

Recently sacked Jose Mourinho has reportedly emerged as a shock candidate for the job, although this is mainly because of his connections to his former player Deco. Furthermore, Thiago Motta is admired by the Barca hierarchy due to his work at Serie A club Bologna, but the club denies any contact with the Italian.

Deco reflects on the recent manager links.

He said: “He’s my friend, but I’m not speaking to José since long time.

“Thiago Motta? “I didn’t see many games of Bologna as we are busy travelling, I follow other teams. He’s doing great but there’s nothing with him.”

Rajan Sangha | GSFN

More European Football News