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As the summer will bring many managerial openings, Xabi Alonso staying at Bayer Leverkusen has turned things upside down. A wanted name for both Liverpool and Bayern Munich's openings at the end of the season, Alonso staying put will change the targets around the world including at Barcelona where Xavi Hernandez announced intentions to step down at the end of the season earlier this campaign. Since making that decision, Xavi has led Barcelona into the last eight of the Champions League where they'll face PSG while also improving the form of young players at the club.

According to The Athletic, this has led to Barcelona seeing if they can convince Xavi to stay longer than the end of this season. Less than a year removed from winning the La Liga title, there are fair reasons why Barcelona would like to keep him in charge instead of dealing with an unknown manager but that's something that reflects more on the lack of luster in the Barcelona job these days.

Not only are there financial issues that may prevent Barcelona from bringing in a manager like Roberto De Zerbi of Brighton but there are also deeper issues at the club. Not being able to spend as much as they would like to improve the squad might not make them title contenders in the near future, let alone able to compete across multiple fronts to a high level. Top managers need resources to shape the team in their image and win trophies and the rebuild of Barcelona is a multi-season commitment that is fit for a manager looking to build their brand. Barca's debt went from $30 million in 2018 to nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in 2023 thanks to write-offs related to bad contracts, tax disputes, legal fees, owing massive transfer fee payments, back tax and more, according to The Athletic. It has forced them to get creative, sell off assets, go after free agents and more in an attempt to remain competitive. 

The issue is that if places like Brighton, Sporting Club Portugal and elsewhere open, those are the places where second and third-tier managers that Barcelona would look for in this bracket will also look to and only history would make Barcelona a more appealing destination than other places that are built to win now. Thiago Motta of Bologna is one of the few managers who would fit the bill due to being a former Barcelona midfielder himself but if a more appealing job opens in Italy, like Juventus, it would make sense for him to take that as he has experience coaching in Serie A, helping Bologna push for Champions League spots. 

Gone for now are the days when Barcelona could go in and pluck Mikel Arteta from Arsenal as he would likely be the dream appointment at the moment. Because of the surrounding circumstances, it makes sense why it's worth seeing what happens with Xavi, especially if the options out there aren't all that appealing.

Potentially not having the ability to pay clubs compensation for managers who are currently under contract depending on their financial circumstances this summer, Barcelona will need to get creative, and while doing so, one option is pulling out all the stops possible to keep Xavi. On the plus side, with a team so reliant on young players like 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, consistency can't be overstated. This is one of the reasons why Barcelona B manager Rafa Marquez is likely in the running for the job if it opens but without top flight managerial experience, it would be quite a risk to take.

Barcelona will qualify for Champions League next season and expectations will be to again make it to the knockout stages while competing for the La Liga crown. For an inexperienced manager, it would be a chance to fall to the pressure of those expectations but those are something that Xavi has grown to manage during his time in charge of Barcelona. Keeping him would be Barcelona admitting that the club isn't what it once was but doing that is the first step to building Barcelona back to what it should be.