Mauricio Pochettino is the frontrunner to replace Quique Setien as Barcelona manager, with Xavi also in the running.
Setien’s days in Catalonia are numbered after his side suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Friday.
Lionel Messi depressed after Barcelona’s humiliating defeat / Pool / Getty Images
According to Mundo Deportivo, although losing to Die Rotyn was the last straw, the former Real Betis boss was always likely to be sacked at the end of the season. A frosty relationship with some of the club’s top stars has been cited as the main reason, but results on the pitch have also played a factor.
Setien handed the La Liga title back to Real Madrid in July and Barca were knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the quarter-final stage by Athletic Club.
Barca’s search for a new head coach has been on the top of their wish list for some time now with former Tottenham boss Pochettino. Catalan radio station RAC1 (via Daily Mail ) reported that the Argentine also had dinner with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu earlier this month.
Pochettino previously distanced himself from managing the Blaugrana, although he has recently distanced himself from those comments.
Have Juventus missed a trick by not appointing Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager? | ✍️ @jamescormack_
— 90 Minutes (@90min_Football) August 9, 2020
Another coach in the conversation is Xavi, whose only managerial experience so far has come with Qatar-based Al Sadd. The legendary midfielder was tipped to take over from Ernesto Valverde in January but refused, instead signing a new deal with his current employers.
It is understood Xavi will only join Barca after next summer’s presidential election as he is a favorite of leading candidate Victor Font.
Another option is Ronald Koeman, who has some supporters in the Barcelona hierarchy. However, a deal seems unlikely with the 57-year-old enjoying his time in charge of his native Netherlands. He is still recovering from a heart attack in May.