Deco of Barcelona is considering replacing Xavi Hernandez with a former teammate and Jose Mourinho student.
Barcelona began searching for a new manager on Saturday night following the leaving of Xavi Hernandez, and they will shortly be forming a shortlist of possible candidates. The final selection will be made by a six-person committee, and Sporting Director Deco will present his recommendations to the committee.
Before Christmas, Michel Sanchez of Girona, Rafael Marquez of Barca Atletico, Thiago Motta of Bologna, and Imanol Alguacil of Real Sociedad had all been discussed as possible targets; but, following Xavi’s departure, a number of other names have been floated.
Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, was being considered, but several sources have already shot him down. Hansi Flick, meanwhile, has been given a strong opportunity to take over in Germany. It has also been intimated by Thomas Tuchel that he would be content to go to Spain.
MD claims that Deco likes Sergio Conceicao as well. They pressed hard in both of their Champions League matches against Barcelona, and he was impressed by the intensity and offensive game they played. The two have a long history together, having shared a dressing room during Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Porto in 2003–04. They have remained friendly ever since.
Perhaps making it an easier option, Conceicao is also a client of agent Jorge Mendes, who has tight ties to Barcelona President Joan Laporta and was in charge of the Blaugrana signings of Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo this past summer.
The 49-year-old’s contract expires in the summer, and Newcastle United has previously been connected to him. During his six and a half years as Porto’s manager, Conceicao has won three Portuguese league titles and three Portuguese Cups. He had previously held spells at Olhanense, Braga, Coimbra, Nantes, and Vitoria Guimaraes.