Barcelona consider Deco for sporting director role – sources

Former Portugal international Deco is among the candidates being considered to replace Mateu Alemany as Barcelona‘s director of football, sources have told ESPN.

Deco, 45, has been working as an agent since his retirement from the game and has collaborated informally with Barca president Joan Laporta during the last two years.

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As Raphinha‘s representative, he helped oversee the deal that saw the Brazil international join Barca from Leeds United for over €50 million last summer.

Barca are making changes to their executive structure after Alemany informed the club of his decision to embark on a new project elsewhere at the end of the campaign.

ESPN reported that he will join Premier League side Aston Villa after receiving an offer that was “too good to turn down.”

Alemany, who joined Barca in 2021, has worked alongside sporting director Jordi Cruyff, but the latter’s future at Spotify Camp Nou is also uncertain beyond the expiry of his contract in June.

If Cruyff were to leave, Barca’s recruitment department would require a complete overhaul before the end of the year.

It continues the Catalan club’s trend of racing through sporting directors, with Andoni Zubizarreta, Robert Fernandez, Raul Sanllehi, Pep Segura, Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes among those to have held positions of power during the last decade.

Deco has now emerged as the latest target to shape Barca’s transfer strategy due to his relationship with Laporta. He is also very close to Alejandro Echevarria, who doesn’t have an official role at the club but is one of Laporta’s closest confidants.

The former Barca and Chelsea midfielder signed for the Blaugrana in 2004 during Laporta’s first spell as president and the two have remained in touch ever since.

Born in Brazil, sources said Barca value Deco’s knowledge and contacts in South American football, a market they are keen to exploit.

One possible problem is that his work as an agent through his company D20 Sports could represent a conflict of interest.

Antonio Cordon, Jesus Angoy and, according to Diario Sport, Bayer Leverkuesen’s Fernando Carro are among the other names on Barca’s long list, while Laporta was originally interested in appointing Ralf Rangnick to the role before settling on Alemany two years ago.