Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly lined up by Barcelona as a potential future replacement for Xavi.
The Blaugrana head coach is under pressure at Camp Nou after his side were kicked out of the Champions League.
It’s the second season in a row that Barca find themselves in the Europa League after failing to make it out of the group stage.
Xavi recently said the La Liga giants are ‘on the right track’ despite their European misfortune.
Although he admitted in October he would understand if he were to be sacked after splashing out over £150million in the summer.
And according to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona are already preparing for the future with the club ‘stamping’ Arteta’s name as a potential successor.
Arteta guided the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table after 12 games, with his side dropping points in just two games.
And that has caught the attention of Barca, who are reportedly keen to bring him back to Catalonia with Arteta previously in the club’s youth roster.
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The Spanish outlet have stated how Arteta fits the criteria of what Barcelona are looking for, where he is a firm candidate to replace Xavi.
Although they state Arteta is happy in North London having only signed a contract extension at the Emirates until 2025 in May.
Barcelona are said to still have faith in Xavi’s project and hope he can lead them to success for many years to come.
But should they decide to wield the ax on him, then Arteta would be their ideal replacement.
Arteta commented on the Barcelona links during his pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s clash with FC Zurich.
He said: “Barcelona now, they are on a very good path now, with a phenomenal coach. You have to be very respectful of that.
Speaking in October, Xavi said: “People in the street raise their fists at me in encouragement.
“Now we have to move on and face reality, but I’m still positive.
“With the effort put in by the club and the team we have, we have to compete for the trophies.
“And if we don’t win, like the president [Joan Laporta] said, there will be consequences, starting with me.
“If we don’t win, another coach will come. But I will give everything to make it work.”
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