Barcelona unlikely to muscle in on race for Xabi Alonso

  • Xavi expected to step down as Barcelona manager this summer
  • Alonso not expected to consider move to Camp Nou
  • Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi among those admired by Catalan giants
Alonso has significant interest
Alonso has significant interest / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

Barcelona are not expected to compete for the signature of Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso this summer, 90min understands.

The Blaugrana have begun their search for a new boss after current manager Xavi announced his decision to step down at the end of the campaign - a move which caught those in charge at the club by surprise.

Alonso is the hottest property in management right now after leading Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga standings, with both Liverpool and Bayern Munich chasing his signature ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

While Barcelona admire Alonso's work in Germany, sources have told 90min that the Catalan outfit are not seen as genuine contenders for his signature this summer.

Alonso spent five years as a player with Barcelona's Clasico rivals Real Madrid between 2009 and 2014, making 236 appearances for the club, and his ties to Madrid make it hard to see Alonso taking charge at Camp Nou.

Barcelona are prepared to take their time in search of their preferred candidate to take over from Xavi.

Xabi Alonso
Alonso spent five years with Real Madrid / Manuel Blondeau - Corbis/GettyImages

Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi is admired by Barcelona but the Italian, who is under contract until 2026, is also on the radars of many elite clubs across Europe.

Thomas Tuchel has been touted as a potential candidate after his departure from Bayern at the end of the season was confirmed, but sources insist there is nothing concrete with the German as it stands. Tuchel was not looking at options before his exit was confirmed and may favour a return to the Premier League.

Club officials expect clarity in the search process in mid-March or early April, with sporting director Deco recently confessing Barcelona still have a lot to work out before they can make any concrete moves.

"First, we must know what we are capable of having as a project," he told Catalunya Radio. "Second, we must know what we can do. Third, we must know which players we have. The majority want to be here and this is not going to change.

"And then the [manager] name will depend on several things: there are not so many high-level coaches on the market. Most of them have contracts. There are not many available. But there will be movements. When the time comes, we will make the right decision."

Should Alonso entertain a move to Spain, it will almost certainly be to Real Madrid. Although much of the attention is currently on whether he'll pick Liverpool or Bayern, there is a chance he stay at Leverkusen for another season, giving him the option to then replace Carlo Ancelotti in summer 2025.