Koeman, Pochettino or Xavi: Who will take the reins at Barca?

BARCELONA ARE DEEP in the throes of replacing the disgraced Quique Setien, who was recently axed as Barcelona manager after an embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday last week.

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Moving quickly to get the next man in the hot seat, at least a firey one at the moment at Camp Nou, Barcelona have compiled a three-man shortlist, according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Setien took up the reins in Catalonia in January, then replacing Ernesto Valverde, who was also sacked by the club.

Pochettino, Xavi y Koeman las opciones del Barcelona
Ronaldo Koeman, Mauricio Pochettino and Xavi have all be touted to step up to the Barcelona top job (Image: Sourced).

In his time in charge, Setien missed out on the La Liga title after a closely-fought neck and neck race with Real Madrid, who were crowned eventual league champions after a blistering run on their return to action amid the coronavirus-disrupted restart. Shortly after letting the domestic title slip through their hands, Barca suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, which saw them crash out of the Champions League in the quarte-finals, ahead of the final on August 23.

While no official statement has been made, reports have revealed a three-man shortlist comprising Ronald Koeman, Mauricio Pochettino and Xavi have been drawn to succeed Setien. Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo have made the outright suggestion that Koeman currently leads the popularity ratings, with the club in “advanced negotiations” with the Dutchman.

Should Quique Setien be sacked if Barcelona don't win Champions ...
Disgraced former manager Quique Setien endured a poor time in charge in his short spell at Barcelona (Image: Sourced).

The publication added the 57-year-old would be appointed on a two-year deal. While looking for a much-needed transition as part of a desperate attempt to fast track the restoration of Barca’s reputation as a dominant force of European football, the club will also hold their elections for a new club president in 2021.

Koeman, whose contract with the Netherlands national team expires in 2022, previously played for Barcelona and has been linked with the managerial post for some time.