Ralf Rangnick lined up by European giants in first club job since Man Utd spell

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RALF RANGNICK has been lined up to make a stunning return to club management at Barcelona.

Following legend Xavi’s shocking announcement that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season, all eyes have turned to potential replacements.

Ralph Rangnick is a shock contender for the Barcelona jobGetty

The likes of Jurgen Klopp, Mikel Arteta and even Lionel Messi have all been tipped.

And now, straight out of left field, former Manchester United flop Rangnick has joined the list.

The Austrian national team boss is 33/1 with the bookies for the job – leaving him outside the top 20 in the betting.

Yet it has been reported that Barcelona President Joan Laporta ‘really likes’ him as an option to replace Xavi.

Rangnick is currently managing the Austrian national team but previously had a successful spell at RB Leipzig, where his genius recruitment strategy turned heads.

He cleverly brought the likes of Emil Forsberg, Naby Keita and Timo Werner under the Red Bull roof.

And he was credited with the meteoric rise of Leipzig from the lower leagues of German football to the Champions League from 2015 to 2021.

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It is fair to say things didn’t go so well at United, who finished the season in dreary sixth with 58 points, their lowest total to date.

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But Laporta has a soft spot for German technicians and it won’t be the first time the club has gone down that route.

Barca have had two German coaches in their history, Hans Weisweiler in the 75-76 season and legend Udo Lattek coached them between 1981 and 1983.

Both had issues with star players – famously Weisweiler clashed with Johan Cruyff while Lattek had a run-in with Diego Maradona.

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Other candidates on Barca’s ‘shortlist’ include Arsenal’s Arteta, Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique, Brigton boss Roberto De Zerbi and Xabi Alonso amongst others.

But it’s Barca legend Raphael Marquez, currently manager of Barca’s B team, who has shot to the top of the betting.

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