With both Barcelona and Liverpool searching for new managers at the end of the season, Roberto De Zerbi, the impressive Brighton & Hove Albion boss, has emerged as a coveted figure. Reports now claim that Pep Guardiola himself has endorsed De Zerbi for the Barcelona job, seeking to guide his former club towards a successor who aligns with their famed playing philosophy.
Fichajes, a Spanish transfer news outlet, revealed Guardiola’s alleged recommendation, highlighting the Manchester City manager’s desire to see Barcelona appoint someone who embodies their core values. In De Zerbi, Guardiola seemingly sees the perfect fit.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s interest in the Italian persists. When questioned about the potential move last summer, De Zerbi, ever professional, refocused on his immediate commitments: “Now it is not my focus. My focus is on my players, my team, my fans, my club. We have a lot of things to reach this season and then we will see [about] the future,” he told the BBC.
Both the Catalan giants and the Merseyside club find themselves in managerless situations following Xavi and Jurgen Klopp’s respective departures.
Xavi’s Barcelona Exit: Seeking Change and Freedom
Xavi’s decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the season stems from a deep-seated desire for change, as he articulated clearly. He revealed that the decision was made some time ago and communicated to the board beforehand.
“I want to announce that on June 30 I will no longer continue as the coach at Barca,” Xavi declared, according to GOAL. “I think the situation needs to change course, and as a culer (Barcelona fan), I cannot allow the current situation. And mostly as a cul, thinking about the club and the players as well, I think they will feel more free, they will be calmer.”
He elaborated on the pressures that wore him down, emphasizing the need for a fresh beginning: “I think we play with too much tension. It’s for the benefit of the board, of the club. As a cule, as a club person, I believe the best thing is to leave on June 30. Of course, I will give all I have in the four months that are left.”
Xavi went further, highlighting the toll on his mental well-being: “To explain a bit better, the feeling of being Barca coach is unpleasant, it’s cruel. You feel that often there is a lack of respect, you feel they do not value your work, and this wears you down terribly. It affects your mental health. I am a positive person, but the energy goes down to a point where you think there is no sense.”
Jurgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool was announced last week, following his November decision to step down.