Tactical Insights

Barcelona keeping tabs on Thiago Motta at Bologna

41-year-old Bologna manager Thiago Motta has reportedly emerged on the radar of Barcelona to replace Xavi Hernandez.

According to Adrian Sanchez at Mas que Pelotas, Thiago Motta is the subject of interest from Barcelona. The reigning La Liga champions are closely monitoring the progress of the 41-year-old at Serie A club Bologna. And they view him as a potential candidate to replace Xavi Hernandez if the current head coach leaves.

Thiago Motta had a legendary playing career, representing Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain. A native of Brazil, he turned out for Italy on the international stage, making 30 appearances for the Azzurri. After calling time on his professional career, he entered the managerial world in 2018.

Rising in Stature in the Managerial World

The 41-year-old had short stints with PSG under-19, Genoa, and Spezia, inviting ridicule for his different tactical approach. But Motta has struck gold with his latest job, joining Bologna in September 2022, replacing Sinisa Mihajlovic. Since then, he has come leaps and bounds at the Serie A club.

The Red and Blues have won 25 games under the tutelage of the former Barcelona and PSG player. They have made considerable progress in the 2023/24 season, in particular, as they are in contention to finish in the top four in Serie A. While recent results have not gone their way, they remain within touching distance of fourth-placed Fiorentina. And Thiago Motta has captured the attention of Barcelona with his ideas.

Barcelona Calling?

Barcelona will ideally prefer to keep Xavi Hernandez on board for the long-term future. They have won the league title with the legendary former Spanish international in charge at the club. While things have not gone their way this season, Deco and Joan Laporta have voiced their support for Xavi.

But the reigning La Liga champions are keeping their options open and have set their sights on many highly-rated managers. Recent reports have linked them with Michel and Mikel Arteta. And Thiago Motta has now emerged as a managerial target for Barcelona.

Barcelona will unlikely launch the offensive for the 41-year-old anytime soon. So, Bologna can rest easy, focusing on clinching a top-four finish in Serie A. But it will be interesting to see what happens if Xavi finds himself on sticky ground.

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