Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta ‘on three-man shortlist to replace Xavi at Barcelona’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly on a shortlist of potential replacements for Xavi at Barcelona, alongside Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reportedly been added to a three-man shortlist of replacements for Xavi at Barcelona next season.

The 44-year-old announced that he would be leaving the Spanish giants at the conclusion of the campaign following a 5-3 loss to Villarreal on Saturday evening.

Since taking the reins in Catalonia in November 2021, Xavi has led his side to the La Liga crown in 2022-23 and has an overall win percentage of 62%.

The 2023-24 term has proved tougher for the Spaniard, though, with Barca currently fourth in the Spanish top flight, 11 points behind surprise package Girona in first.

According to Spanish reporter Gerard Romero, Arsenal boss Arteta is one of the names that Barcelona have shortlisted as potential new managers at the club.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on December 31, 2023© Reuters

The report claims that Barca’s sporting director Deco is already in the process of talking to the agents of prospective candidates, beginning discussions a couple of weeks ago.

It is understood that Arteta was highlighted as a possible acquisition following the sacking of Ronald Koeman in October 2021, however the Spanish side opted to appoint Xavi instead.

The former Everton player is not the only option Barcelona are considering, though, with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp also on the shortlist.

The German head coach confirmed that he would be leaving Anfield at the conclusion of the campaign following over eight years at Anfield, where he won the Premier League and the Champions League.

Klopp has already stated that he will never manage a club in England again, but he has not ruled out making a swift return to coaching elsewhere in Europe.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on January 28, 2024© Reuters

After signing an extension to his current terms at the Emirates with the Gunners, Arteta is contracted to the North Londoners until the summer of 2025.

Another name on the Barca shortlist is said to be Julian Nagelsmann, who is currently preparing to take Germany into a home European Championships.

The 36-year-old has previously worked at Hoffenheim, RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich, with his contract in his current job expiring at the end of the tournament in July.

After back-to-back losses across the Copa del Rey and La Liga, Xavi and his Barcelona side will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Osasuna on Wednesday night.

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