Tactical Insights

Barcelona keeping tabs on Andoni Iraola at Bournemouth

La Liga champions Barcelona are reportedly tracking the progress of 41-year-old Spanish tactician Andoni Iraola at Premier League Bournemouth.

According to a report by Spanish outlet SPORT, Andoni Iraola is the subject of interest from Barcelona. The reigning La Liga champions are scouring the market for a manager ahead of the summer. The 41-year-old Bournemouth manager has emerged as a target for the Blaugrana amid his exploits at the Premier League club.

Who is Andoni Iraola?

Andoni Iraola is one of the most highly-rated young managers in Europe. A native of Usurbil in the Basque Country, the Spaniard spent most of his career with Athletic Club after graduating from the outfit’s youth division. However, his playing days ended in the USA after spending a season with New York City FC.

Iraola entered the managerial world in 2018 by taking charge of AEK Larnaca in Cyprus. But his stock soared after joining Rayo Vallecano in 2020, spending three successful campaigns with the Spanish outfit and guiding the club to La Liga. The 41-year-old has continued rising in prominence since joining Bournemouth last summer.

The Spanish manager’s spell with Bournemouth did not start well, as the Cherries struggled to rack up wins in the early stages of the 2023/24 season. However, they have picked up steam in the last few months, with Bournemouth racking up more points than any other Premier League club since the start of March. Meanwhile, his progress with the Premier League outfit has alerted Barcelona.

Barcelona Calling?

The reigning La Liga champions have been scouring the market for a manager since Xavi Hernandez announced his impending departure over two months ago. Recent reports have claimed that Barcelona will prefer to keep hold of the former Spanish international beyond the summer.

However, the Catalan giants are keeping their options open, with Ruben Amorim one of their targets. Andoni Iraola has now emerged on Barcelona’s radar heading into the summer as they closely monitor his progress at Premier League club Bournemouth.

A summer move for Iraola might not be on the cards, with several other managers ahead of him in the pecking order. But it will be interesting to see if the 41-year-old highly-rated manager receives an attractive offer to leave Bournemouth.

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