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Five players Hansi Flick could target for reunions after working with before

After a messy situation that saw the coach first decide to leave at the end of the 2023-24 La Liga season, then reverse his decision only to ultimately be sacked, Barcelona have moved quickly to replace Xavi.

The Catalan giants are appointing former Bayern Munich and Germany boss Hansi Flick to take charge and oversee their efforts next season to regain the league title from Real Madrid.

With Carlo Ancelotti’s men – who will take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley this weekend – seemingly streets ahead of Barca, who finished 10 points adrift in the title race, it will be a mammoth task for the German tactician.

But here are five players he’s worked with previously whom Flick could target this summer to kickstart his Barcelona tenure.

Joshua Kimmich

Barcelona have long been linked with a move for Joshua Kimmich and the arrival of his former Bayern and Germany coach only makes that switch more realistic.

The versatile and experienced midfielder is entering the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena with no sign of a renewal in sight. It has been speculated for months now that the 29-year-old will leave Bayern this summer, with the 84-cap Germany star reportedly a target for several elite European clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City.

A move to the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys would not only reunite him in midfield with national team colleague Ilkay Gundogan but also with ex-Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski.

Barca saw a move for Kimmich collapse last summer due to financial constraints and, according to Spanish daily newspaper Sport, the former RB Leipzig star has already rejected a contract offer from the Catalan giants this off-season.

But with Flick in place and the manager said to be keen to add his former midfielder, a Barcelona move for Kimmich shouldn’t yet been ruled out.

Hansi Flick's most used Bayern Munich playersHansi Flick's most used Bayern Munich players

Leon Goretzka

An alternative option to shore up the cast of midfielders at Flick’s disposal is Leon Goretzka.

Like Kimmich, the new Barca coach worked with the former Bochum and Schalke star with both Bayern and the national team. The 29-year-old has two years left to run on his contract in Bavaria and was a key player under Thomas Tuchel in 2023-24, starting 25 Bundesliga games, scoring six goals and providing seven assists.

But after Bayern were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid at the semi-final stage and slipped to third in the Bundesliga, Goretzka was omitted from Julian Nagelsmann’s Germany squad for the European Championship on home soil this summer.

If the midfielder wishes to rejuvenate his international career with a change of scenery, linking up with Flick in Catalonia could be the ideal move.

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Alphonso Davies

It would be a long shot, in light of financial struggles that will reportedly require Barcelona to sell before they can buy this summer, but a hijacking of Real Madrid’s move to sign Bayern left-back Alphonso Davies would make a seismic impact at the outset of Flick’s reign.

And with no indication yet over whether Joao Cancelo’s loan from Manchester City will be renewed for next season or made permanent, left-back is an area of need for Barcelona.

Davies, like Kimmich, is entering the last year of his Bayern contract and a move to Real Madrid has long been mooted. The Bundesliga giants have reportedly already lined up AC Milan’s France international star Theo Hernandez – who would join his brother, Lucas, at the club – as a replacement.

Serge Gnabry

As far back as February, German sports publication Kicker claimed Bayern may sell as many as five first-team players this summer, with speculation suggesting that Serge Gnabry could be among those vulnerable to being shipped out at the Allianz Arena.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reported in March that the 28-year-old former Arsenal man was attracting interest from the Premier League. But a move to Barcelona would make sense for the 45-cap Germany star if the La Liga side decide against trying to make Joao Felix’s loan move from Atletico Madrid permanent.

In that scenario, there would be an open spot on the left side of the Barca attack for Gnabry to fill, with teenage sensation Lamine Yamal on the right and Lewandowski as the central striker.

Gnabry, who was restricted to just five Bundesliga starts due to injury in 2023-24, would represent a cut-price alternative to Felix, whose likely price could prove prohibitive for cash-strapped Barcelona.

Thiago Alcantara

A left-field option given his drastic lack of playing time over the past 12 months, there would be no shortage of romantic narrative to a potential Barca return for Thiago Alcantara.

A free agent at the expiry of his Liverpool contract, the 33-year-old played just five minutes of Premier League football this season, once again struck down by injuries that have blighted his later career.

But if anyone can restore the classy playmaker to something approaching his previous best, it is Flick, under whom Thiago was a key figure in Bayern’s 2019-20 Treble-winning side.

The former Spain midfielder began his career at Barcelona, where he won four La Liga titles and a Champions League before joining up with Pep Guardiola at Bayern in 2013.

READ MOREThe key contract details of every Barcelona first-team player: Expiry dates, weekly wages, agents

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