Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona Makes ‘First Signing’ Of Flick Era

FC Barcelona made what Spanish newspaper MARCA called its “first signing” under freshly-appointed head coach Hansi Flick on Friday.

Flick succeeded club legend Xavi Hernandez after the former midfielder was dismissed for making negative comments.

Xavi initially announced he would step down on June 30, but was then convinced to stay and agreed to see out his contract until the same date in 2025.

After he was frank about Barca’s financial predicament in public, however, and discussed how this affects being able to keep up with bitter rivals Real Madrid and make the signings he wants ahead of an away trip to Almeria, Xavi was shown the exit door after the last match of a trophyless season also on the road at Sevilla.

Economic restraints could also mark the beginning of Flick’s tenure considering that Barca is labouring to return to the 1:1 rule within Financial Fair Play limits.

Balancing the books before the end of the financial year on June 30 is also essential, and help in this endeavour could come in the form of President Joan Laporta pulling one of his famous “economic levers” or selling a big star at the same time kit sponsor Nike could come to the rescue with a generous signing on bonus in excess of $100 million should the sportswear giant and the Catalans renew their contract.

While Flick and Sporting Director Deco wait to see if big-money transfers might be possible, Barca continues to make a commitment to the pearls of its La Masia academy by securing them on long-term contracts.

In this respect, Marc Casado has put pen to paper on Friday as confirmed by the club, and will be tied down until mid-2028.

With targets such as Joshua Kimmich possibly out of reach, Casado could play a key role in 2024/2025 under Flick and break through to the first team as the long-term Sergio Busquets heir Xavi was prevented from bringing in this time last year on a limited budget.

At MARCA, Casado is tipped as essentially being Flick’s first new signing and the German himself has already stated a belief that he can develop and get the best out of Barca’s youth.

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