It was a huge surprise when Jurgen Klopp recently announced that he was stepping away from the manager’s role at Liverpool, citing a lack of energy as his primary concern for not being able to give his best in a job he’d held for nine years.
The German has ensured consistent success for the Reds during his tenure, and he could yet end the current campaign with at least one trophy.
Liverpool play Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final shortly and they remain top of the league, as well as being in the latter stages of the FA Cup and the Europa League.
It’s precisely that type of consistency that Barcelona would be looking for when discussing their replacement for Xavi, who coincidentally also gave notice around the same time as his contemporary that he too would be vacating the hot-seat.
That leaves sporting director, Deco, with the unenviable task of finding Xavi’s replacement over the next few months, in order that they’re in place before the start of pre-season.
Though there may not be a dearth of candidates, whomever does come in will know that they’ve effectively got one hand tied behind their back before they start.
Barcelona’s crippling financial concerns have authored what little business they’ve been able to do in the transfer market, so any new man coming in has to be aware of the current limitations of the position before taking it.
Deco remained coy on the subject of Klopp when asked, however.
“He’s a great coach but I don’t think it’s the right time to talk about that,” he told La Vanguardia (h/t Metro).
“The new coach will want to make changes but first we will have to explain the project and the ideas. There are many options.”
There are already two other candidates being mentioned in dispatches; Thiago Motta and Rafa Marquez, both of whom are ex-Barca stars and the latter is currently employed as Barca B coach so it would make sense from a continuity perspective to move him up to the senior side.
“I don’t follow Motta’s work much because he’s not in an Italian team that I usually watch,” Deco continued.
“I do follow Marquez because he is here. He is a young coach who is growing in the face of difficulties. Being here will make him a better coach.”
Deco did set out more broadly what he expects from the man eventually tasked with being Xavi’s successor.
“He has to follow a line of work, we will hardly be a team…