Mon 25 Mar 2024, 13:59 · Ash Harrison

Report: Newcastle could be tempted to replace Eddie Howe with Barcelona manager

Report: Newcastle could be tempted to replace Eddie Howe with Barcelona manager
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Have you still got that salt handy from the Federico Chiesa story earlier? Because you're going to need it again for this one.

HITC journalist Graeme Bailey has now claimed that Chelsea and Newcastle United could be looking at Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez should he leave the club this summer.

Xavi has announced that he will leave the Catalan giants at the end of the season but Bailey suggests that Barcelona believe they can persuade Xavi to stay on as boss.

He goes on to suggest he could be offered a chance to move to England with Chelsea or Newcastle.

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Xavi Hernandez

Eddie Howe under pressure? Nah

Bailey suggests that Eddie Howe is under pressure as Newcastle boss, but offers very little in the way of evidence to back this up, simply piggy-backing on to the idea that the PIF are going to be ruthless and swap managers at the drop of a hat.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are much more likely to do that and the Xavi links make more sense for them than they do for Newcastle. However, Mauricio Pochettino is starting to get a tune out of his side and it was reported earlier in the season that sacking Pochettino could land Chelsea in trouble with regards to FFP.

This story has all the hallmarks of an international break story - just something out of nothing for the sake of getting some content out.

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We don't see Eddie being given the chop this season

There have never been any suggestions, beyond media speculation, that Eddie Howe's job at Newcastle is under threat.

Everyone within the club was expecting a much less successful season this time around as they all knew that last season was a huge overachievement. When you consider that fact, plus the frankly insane circumstances that have surrounded our season in terms of injuries, suspensions and shocking cup draws, you can hardly point the blame at Eddie Howe completely.

Modern football culture does seem to be owners wielding the axe the minute a team has a run of poor form, but Amanda Staveley has said from day one that this is a long-term project and they want to do things right. That means sticking with their manager. Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and now to an extent Mikel Arteta have all shown what can be achieved if a manager is given the time they need to transform a club.

Just because a "big name" becomes available, it doesn't mean Newcastle are going to make the change.