Barcelona have shortlisted three names as potential replacements for Quique Setien should he be sacked after their UEFA Champions League campaign, oyogist.com reports.
The Spaniard was appointed at the helm of the Nou Camp in the wake of Ernesto Valverde’s sacking in January earlier this year. However, Setien has also faced his fair share of criticism, particularly after their title loss to fierce rivals Real Madrid despite a lead at the top.
With rumours now suggesting that Barcelona could perhaps sack Setien in the event of a poor run in the Champions League, the Catalans have reportedly identified potential replacements for the former Real Betis manager.
Barcelona have shortlisted Ronald Koeman, Mauricio Pochettino, and Xavi Hernandez as possible options to replace Quique Setien. The story goes on to state that there is an ‘overriding’ feeling that Barcelona will ultimately give Setien the sack after he failed to win over the dressing room.
Koeman has been earmarked as a replacement for some time now, albeit with a few reservations. His illustrious connection and history with Barcelona is a crucial factor, as he would be someone who is well aware of the culture and values of Barcelona.
However, there are still reservations about his pragmatic approach to the game. That was something that went in favour of Setien, who was synonymous with high-octane, expansive football.
Additionally, his commitment to the Dutch national team is another factor to consider. Koeman has made it clear that he would like to lead his new-look Netherlands into the UEFA European championships next year. The former Barcelona defender has bought a house in Vallvidrera, an area close to Barcelona.
Mauricio Pochettino’s incredible body of work during his time at Tottenham Hotspur has made him another option considered by Barcelona. However, there could be a few complications to the deal — primarily the Argentine’s well-documented bond with Barcelona’s cross-town club, Espanyol. Pochettino made his managerial debut with the club and vowed never to coach any of his rival clubs.
Xavi is the third option on the list, and by some accounts, the priority target for the club given the Spaniard’s colossal stature and legacy at the Nou Camp. The Catalan is Barcelona through and through, and certainly has the backing of the hierarchy of the club.
Barcelona even tried to lure Xavi away from the Middle East to succeed Ernesto Valverde at the helm after Valverde was fired. The World Cup winner declined the opportunity at the time, leading to Setien’s arrival.
Barcelona are all set to do battle against fellow treble winners Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday night.