Five names in the frame to succeed Xavi at Barcelona
Xavi's resignation has left Barcelona looking for a new manager.
The club icon, 44, confirmed he would leave at the end of the season following a shock 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal.
Ahead of Barcelona's match with Osasuna tonight, we take a look at the chances of five contenders to replace Xavi in the Camp Nou hot seat.
Barcelona B manager Rafael Marquez would seem a logical choice to step up to the main job.
As an internal appointment, the Mexican would be relatively cheap — an important consideration for the Catalan giants these days.
Like Xavi, he is a popular figure the supporters would get behind. Marquez has already indicated that he is willing to take on the challenge.
He said: "You can't say no to an opportunity like this. And if it comes, I will try to be available and try to do my best."
Another former Barcelona player who has been linked with the role is Thiago Motta.
The Brazilian started his playing career at the Blaugrana and has built his managerial experience in Serie A with Genoa, Spezia and now Bologna.
Once a team-mate of Barcelona sporting director Deco, it has been reported that Motta is being considered at a time when he is surpassing expectations in Italy.
Bologna are fighting for Champions League qualification while playing an attractive brand of attacking football.
Garcia Pimienta, 49, came through Barca's academy system as a player and then worked his way through the youth teams as a coach to take charge of Barca Atletic.
Joan Laporta removed him from that role in 2021, which may be an impediment to him returning to his boyhood side.
The decision by the Barcelona president looks to have been a mistake considering the success of Garcia Pimienta at Las Palmas, who have the second best defensive record in LaLiga.
He has taken the Canary Islands' club from the Segunda Division to a European challenge within two years by adopting a possession-heavy style.
An alternative manager that could be poached from a LaLiga side is Michel from nearby Girona.
The 48-year-old is doing a remarkable job with the minnows currently top of the Spanish top flight.
Michel has won promotion with a trio of Spanish second-tier teams, succeeding at Rayo Vallecano and Huesca, before doing so with Girona in 2022.
No team has scored more than goals in LaLiga than the 52 notched by the Catalan club, who utilise an intricate and patient attacking build-up.
Xavi is leaving Barcelona at the end of the season when Klopp will be departing Anfield. The timing may seem perfect, but there are complications.
Though the German tactician may be tempted to rouse another sleeping giant after doing so at both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, he has stated that he plans to take a sabbatical from the game.
Laporta is known to be a long-term admirer, yet it would seem difficult to convince someone wanting a break to immediately take over the pressure-cooker environment of Barcelona.
Klopp may not be the next manager at the Camp Nou but his eventual appointment should not be ruled out.