Tactical Insights

Newcastle showing serious interest in Barcelona’s Xavi to replace Howe


Newcastle United reportedly have serious interest in replacing Eddie Howe with an “incredible” manager this summer – one who has never finished lower than third place in a domestic league campaign.

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle future in doubt

Howe has done a brilliant job at St James’ Park overall, having come in and inherited a relegation-threatened side, only to change their fortunes in spectacular fashion. The Englishman guided his side back into the Champions League last season, by virtue of finishing fourth in the league, but things have been a lot harder this term.

Newcastle sit 10th in the Premier League table with 10 matches to go, meaning that European qualification of any kind is unlikely, and they also exited the Champions League at the group stage, with performances and results too often flattering to deceive.

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Because of this, Howe has found himself under pressure of late, as the PIF decide whether or not they should look to dispose of him and find a big name replacement at the end of the season. Some reports have suggested that he will stay on even if the Magpies miss out on Europe, but that hasn’t stopped potential successors being linked with the job.

Roberto De Zerbi has been linked with replacing Howe at St James’ Park in the summer, as he continues to do an impressive job at Brighton, while Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann is another name who has been thrown into the mix.

Nagelsmann-Spurs-Slot-Levy-Premier-League-manager

Now, another manager has emerged in the race to be the next man in charge at Newcastle, in what could be a real marquee appointment.

Newcastle seriously interested in “incredible” manager

According to HITC, Newcastle are showing “genuine and strong” interest in making Xavi their next manager, with the 44-year-old confirmed to be leaving Barcelona at the end of the season. The report says that Chelsea are also in the same position, however, should they decide to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino.

xavi-barcelona-la-liga

Xavi would certainly be an interesting appointment by Newcastle, even though it does seem more likely that Howe will remain in charge for now, with the Spaniard a huge figure in the game, having achieved such legendary status at Barcelona during his playing days.

It is dangerous hiring a boss who was only a big name as a player, but the former Spain World Cup winner has impressed in his managerial career as well, never finishing lower than third place across six seasons with two different clubs, not to mention winning the La Liga title with Barca last season.

On top of that, former teammate Andres Iniesta called him “incredible” earlier this season, especially in terms of his passion for the club, and his attacking 4-3-3 formation could go down well with Newcastle supporters.



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