Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez issued a stark warning to his successor about the challenges ahead. Following his announcement of departure at the season’s end, Xavi reflected on the difficulties faced by him and previous managers, stating (via BarcaTimes):
“I have no advice to offer the next manager to avoid facing the same challenges as me and my predecessors. No matter their approach, they will encounter similar obstacles.”
Having taken over from Ronald Koeman in November 2021, Xavi’s tenure saw Barcelona clinch the Supercopa de Espana and La Liga titles in his inaugural full season. Notably, these triumphs marked the club’s first silverware since Lionel Messi’s departure to Paris Saint-Germain. However, this season posed significant challenges for both Xavi and Barcelona.
Recent setbacks, including a 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup and elimination from the Copa del Rey with a 4-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao, culminated in their disheartening 5-3 loss to Villarreal. The two goals conceded in stoppage time during the Villarreal match served as the final blow for Xavi’s tenure.
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s sporting director Deco is reportedly planning a substantial squad overhaul to generate funds. According to Sport (via Football Espana), Deco aims to raise over €200 million through player sales.
Among the players expected to depart are Sergi Roberto and Marcos Alonso, who will not receive contract renewals. Additionally, Brazilian winger Raphinha and several center-backs, including Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde, and Ronald Araujo, are rumored to be on the transfer list.
Deco plans to reinvest the proceeds from these sales to bolster the team for the upcoming season, with Araujo attracting significant interest from Bayern Munich, who are reportedly prepared to offer around €100 million for his services.