Julian Nagelsmann is a contender in Barcelona’s coaching search

Julian Nagelsmann / Getty Images
Julian Nagelsmann / Getty Images

Barcelona have virtually ruled out Julian Nagelsmann as the next coach.

Without haste but without pause, Barcelona continues to gather information in preparation for selecting a new coach. The club’s focus is still on the current season, as there are important objectives yet to be fulfilled. According to Toni Juanmarti from SPORT, this does not mean that work isn’t progressing simultaneously when the time comes to take firm steps. There has been much talk in recent days about Joan Laporta’s preference for a German coach. Among the supposed candidates, Julian Nagelsmann has also been included. The German represents an idea of modern football, accompanied by the fact that Julian is only 36 years old.

However, despite boosting his reputation a couple of years ago, the results achieved in recent times – and some dressing room conflicts – have hindered his progress. Nagelsmann impressed with Leipzig but his two years at Bayern Munich were a less romantic story, mainly due to the high expectations generated. The Champions League knockout against Villarreal left the coach in an uncomfortable position. Now the German national team coach, Julian is struggling to get the ‘Mannschaft’ to play attractive football, and amidst a generational transition, the results in recent friendlies are concerning.

With focus on the Euros until July, the German coach’s contract extends past this summer’s European Championship. This is one of the points used to include him on the list of candidates. Julian could arrive at Barça at no cost if he doesn’t renew. However, the reality is that Nagelsmann is very low on the list of candidates considered by the Catalan club, for various reasons. Indeed, sources close to Barça virtually rule him out. Firstly, the fact that the Euros end in mid-July would be a significant impediment when it comes to advancing certain planning aspects.

Julian wouldn’t be able to focus on Barça until then, a handicap to consider that would mean starting the season already at a disadvantage compared to rivals. While he could gradually immerse himself in the Barça universe via phone calls, it wouldn’t be near the ideal scenario with a tournament like the Euros in mind.

Beyond that, if Nagelsmann isn’t in the hot zone of the list, it’s due to strictly sporting reasons. These include factors like experience or player management. At Can Barça, nobody doubts that his style book is based on attractive and offensive football, but that’s not everything. From the entity presided over by Joan Laporta, significant doubts remain regarding the hypothetical relationship the German could have with both the dressing room and the complex Barcelona environment. Julian’s young age of 36 works against him.

In his recent interview on ‘RAC1’, Barça’s top executive hinted that the idea was to hire someone “with a certain trajectory.” It’s not that Nagelsmann lacks this, having been at Leipzig, Bayern, and the German national team. Still, considering the club’s delicate situation, Barça’s leaders believe a coach with more experience and a range of lived situations would be a better fit.