Next Barcelona manager: Pique claims Arteta, Guardiola are ‘obvious’ choices to replace Xavi

Lewis Oldham
Barcelona next manager
Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola.

FC Barcelona legend Gerard Pique believes Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola are “obvious” candidates to replace Xavi.

The Spanish giants are searching for a new manager ahead of next season as Xavi recently announced that this campaign will be his last as their head coach.

Arteta to Barcelona?

The 44-year-old helped Barcelona win La Liga last season but they are currently 11 points adrift of league leaders Real Madrid with a game in hand.

Hansi Flick, Roberto De Zerbi and Julen Nagelsmann have been mooted as potential replacements but Pique thinks his former club should go for Arteta or Guardiola.

The Man City boss is regarded as one of Barcelona’s greatest-ever managers. His previous spell as their boss came to an end in 2012.

Arteta progressed through the ranks at Barcelona but did not make a single senior appearance for the Spanish giants before having a prolonged stint in the Premier League with Everton and Arsenal.

Barcelona’s fortunes have improved since Xavi announced his summer exit. Pique “thinks he will stay” but Arteta or Guardiola should replace him if he does leave.

“I don’t think it’s a decision that is 100 per cent,” Pique said during an interview with The Sunday Times.

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“Let’s see how the season ends. I think maybe he will stay.

“To manage Barca you need to be a specific type of coach and to understand the way Barca play, so the options are much less.

“The obvious ones are Guardiola, because he had his past here, and he is the best coach right now, and Arteta.

“He would be a good one also. He understands Barcelona and played for Barca in the past.”

When asked if he thinks Guardiola would ever manage Barcelona again, Pique answered: “You would have to ask him.

“I still speak to him sometimes. I am sure he and Barcelona people would love to see him back.”

READ MORE: Who will replace Xavi as the next Barcelona manager?

“That is not changing…”

Pique’s claim about Xavi potentially staying at Barcelona beyond this season has been refuted by Fabrizio Romano.

The transfer expert is of the understanding that Barcelona’s manager plans are “not changing”.

“Xavi said months ago that he’s gonna leave Barça and that is not changing, so there’s nothing surprising for the club,” Romano told Caught Offside.

“They know his intention and they also know he’s not planning to stay in any case no matter what happens in the final two months… so Barça keep looking for new coach.”