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Next Barcelona Manager: Odds and Considerations

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
11 April 2024, 16:48

Xavi’s departure at the end of the season brought the looming issue of the new coach to the forefront. It is hard to evaluate Xavi's tenure as overly positive, since the club was exempt from the Champions League ambitions for several years and only in this season is making a bid of entering the semifinals. Amid the ongoing Barcelona’s hardships and the tight market, the task of finding a right manager for the job will be a tricky task.

Barcelona Next Manager Betting List

Bookmakers have already opened the market on a replacement for a Spanish specialist. At the moment, judging by the odds given by Bet365, there are several main contenders:

Barcelona Next Manager  Bet365 Odd
Hansi Flick3.00
Roberto De Zerbi4.20
Mikel Arteta6.00
Rafael Marquez10.00
Thiago Motta12.00

Hansi Flick

Hansi Flick appears to be a favourite for the job given his strong credentials and impressive tenure as Bayern Munich manager. Barcelona desperately needs experienced coaches with a certain success in the European Cups, and Flick, claiming the title of UEFA Champions League in 2020, can be the right man for the job. However, his time as a national team specialist was disappointing, to say the least, and he became the first manager to be sacked from the Bundesmannschaft.

Roberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi feels a perfect fit for the Catalans given his tactical credentials and the style of football he alleviates at Brighton. His experience with young wonderkids, including former Barcelona №10 Ansu Fati, as well as connection to the fans and the board, which he anticipates, may be decisive for Laporta and his circle. Recently, the Italian specialist hinted that he may be open for a new call this summer given his ambitions and tight financial capabilities of Brighton. 

Mikel Arteta

After the current successes of Arteta in Arsenal, Barcelona is seriously considering the former Spanish midfielder as a replacement for Xavi. With Arsenal, Arteta managed to build one of the strongest teams in this Premier League season and is one of the main contenders to win the title. Given Mikel’s combination of experienced players with developing young talents, Barcelona’s board is keeping a keen eye on him, with Arteta’s tactics seem to be adjustable to Barcelona realities. However, the Spaniard is under contract until 2025 and has never expressed any desire to leave London, seemingly eager to capitalise on this season’s success in the future.

Rafael Marquez 

Barcelona is well-known for its internal hierarchy in both players and coaches terms. In this regard, Rafael Marquez can become the third coach after Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique to become the main team’s manager after a tenure at Barcelona B. Rafa Marquez is well-known to Barcelona fans and his duo with Carles Puyol cemented Catalanian defence for several years, before the arrival of Gerard Pique, another Barcelona legend-to-be. Marquez became the coach for Barcelona B in 2022 and reached the play-off semi finals with the team in the third Spanish division (Primera Federacion). Currently, Barcelona B is only 3 points away from the first place in Primera Federacion, enjoying a confident display, a success which was emphasised by Laporta, indicating that the board is watching Rafael’ potential achievements before making a final decision.

Thiago Motta

One of the most interesting picks for the potential Xavi substitute, Thiago Motta is currently building his image in Italy with Bologna. In his first season in Serie A, Motta’s Bologna is already placing hopes on a UEFA Champions League spot, placed fourth above Roma, Atalanta, Napoli and other well-known Italian teams. Motta is building his own vision of football which potentially can be adapted in Barcelona realities, but that will require time. It is unclear whether Laporta is ready to give another two to three seasons for another renovation. At the same time, given that Bologna will most likely see themselves in the European competitions next season, there is a possibility that Motta will like to stay and develop his success in the upcoming season rather than rush towards the Catalans in their unstable state.