Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta one of two ‘obvious’ Barcelona candidates, says Gerard Pique | Football

Mikel Arteta has reportedly been approached by Barcelona (Getty)

Gerard Pique believes Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is an ‘obvious’ candidate to replace Xavi at Barcelona.

The Spanish champions are currently seeking a successor for Xavi, who announced in January that he is stepping down as head coach at the end of the season.

Pique, who played alongside Xavi for seven seasons at Barca, feels his former teammate could reverse his decision to quit this summer.

But if Xavi does not change his mind, Pique says Arteta and Pep Guardiola represent two clear-cut choices for Barcelona’s hierarchy.

‘I don’t think it’s a decision that is 100 per cent,’ Pique said in an interview with The Sunday Times.

‘Let’s see how the season ends. I think maybe he will stay.

FC Barcelona head coach Xavi

Xavi has announced he will leave Barcelona this summer (Getty)

‘To manage Barca you need to be a specific type of coach and to understand the way Barca play, so the options are much less.

‘The obvious ones are Guardiola, because he had his past here, and he is the best coach right now, and Arteta.

‘He would be a good one also. He understands Barcelona and played for Barca in the past.’

When asked if Guardiola would manage Barcelona for a second time, Pique said: ‘You would have to ask him.

‘I still speak to him sometimes. I am sure he and Barcelona people would love to see him back.’

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