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Report: Flick to replace Xavi as Barca manager

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Former Bayern Munich and Germany head coach Hansi Flick has agreed to become Barcelona's new manager, according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.

Flick is reportedly set to sign a two-year contract.

Barcelona sensationally fired Xavi on Friday, just 30 days after convincing him to stay until the end of next season. Xavi initially intended to resign in June, saying the job had become too "cruel" and "unpleasant" for him to continue.

Club president Joan Laporta had publicly maintained his support for Xavi until the former midfielder admitted the club wouldn't make big signings because it wasn't on the same "economic level" as its rivals. That angered Laporta, according to Spanish media, and led to Friday's announcement.

Flick has been linked to the role for some time. CBS Sports Golazo correspondent Guillem Balague reports that conversations with Barcelona had been going on for at least two months. That would indicate that Barcelona were in talks with Flick even as they fought to keep Xavi on board.

Flick has been out of work since he was fired as head coach of the German national team in September 2023. His dismissal immediately followed a 4-1 loss to Japan. The 59-year-old won just four of his final 17 matches in charge of the four-time World Cup champions.

His greatest success as a first-team manager came at Bayern, where he won the treble. Flick initially took the job on an interim basis in November 2019, relieving Niko Kovac, but was named permanent manager at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bavarians won all 16 of their remaining fixtures behind closed doors, taking the Bundesliga, German Cup, and Champions League in the pandemic-delayed campaign. Flick ended 2020 with six trophies, including the German Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.

Xavi leaves Barcelona trophyless a year after winning the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga. The Blaugrana suffered a humiliating 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in this year's Spanish Super Cup and lost both times to Los Blancos in the league. They also exited the Champions League and Copa del Rey at the quarterfinal stage.

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