Barcelona speak out on Jose Mourinho replacing Xavi at Camp Nou | Football

Mourinho parted ways with Roma last month (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona sporting director Deco has dismissed reports suggesting Jose Mourinho is being lined up to take over at the Camp Nou.

In January, Xavi announced his shock decision to step down as Barcelona head coach at the end of the season, sparking an immediate search for his replacement.

Mourinho parted ways with Roma last month with reports in Spain naming him as a candidate to take the Barcelona job, a move that would see him become just the third man in history to manage both of Spain’s top sides after his three-year reign at Real Madrid.

Mourinho is said to have a close relationship with Barca sporting director Deco, also sharing an agent in Jorge Mendes who facilitated the moves of Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix to the Catalan giants last year.

But despite the links, Deco has played down talk of Mourinho arriving at Barcelona.

Asked about the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss, Deco told Esport3: ‘He is a great friend of mine but I haven’t talked with him in a long time’.

On the club’s search for a new head coach, he added: ‘We’re looking for a manager who can adapt to the club’s situation and that can keep developing the young players we have.’

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho spent three years in charge of Real Madrid (Picture: Getty)

A number of high-profile managers have been linked with the soon-to-be-vacant Barcelona job. Jurgen Klopp announced his decision to step down as Liverpool boss the day before Xavi’s made his own announcement over his future.

While the German says he will take a year out of football, he is thought to be on Barcelona’s list of candidates.

When asked about a potential move for the Liverpool manager, Deco recently told La Vanguardia: ‘He’s a great coach but I don’t think it’s the right time to talk about that.

Spanish publication Sport recently reported Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has indicated his intention to step down as Gunners boss at the end of the season to take over at Barcelona.

Arsenal strongly denied those reports with Arteta himself branding the report ‘upsetting’ and ‘totally fake news’.

MORE : Arsenal set to give up on Edu signing after just 18 months and two failed loans

MORE : Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tips Jurgen Klopp for Barcelona job after Liverpool exit

MORE : Chelsea renew interest in signing Barcelona sensation with release clause set at just £8.5m

General Sport