Barcelona president has identified the perfect coach to replace Quique Setien.
There is a strong belief in Spain that Setien will not be continuing at Barcelona at the end of the season. While the exact reasons are unknown, there are many that would lead to the conclusion that the former Betis coach has failed to make drastic improvements since taking over Ernesto Valverde in January.
However, there can be arguments made for the 61-year-old along the lines of him not having enough time especially due to COVID-19 to fully earn the trust of his squad as his quarrel within the dressing room is a massive talking point for his exit.
Moreover, the current playing style at Camp Nou is slow and predictable gameplay where the squad struggles to breach the opposition’s defences.
Sevilla, Celta Vigo, and Atletico Madrid were all matches where Barca dropped two points to rivals Real Madrid, to give them massive advantages in the race to the League title. Meanwhile, in the games that Barca won, they were neither convincing nor according to the club’s philosophy.
Since football has resumed, the only two matches where Setien’s XI were playing proactively and with a determination was their first two La Liga matches since March, against Mallorca and Leganes.
In both these matches, Setien used the two full-backs to cause havoc in the opposition half while the whole squad showed structure within them and had the drive to succeed.
Club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, recently met with the coach after the squad’s previous draw against Celta Vigo to discuss his future. While reports state that the board gave Setien their full support, others state that in reality, the Spanish coach had only the Atletico Madrid clash and Sunday’s Villareal fixture to prove his worth.
With the Blaugrana already dropping two points against Atleti, the common theme among latest reports is that Bartomeu is lining up his replacement.
While several options remain for the president with one year remaining in his tenure, Don Balon has reported that former player and assistant coach, Ronald Koeman, is Bartomeu’s first choice.
While Koeman is currently under contract with the Dutch national team, a special clause in his contract allows him to leave for only one club, Barcelona. However, it is only valid after the Euro 2020 concludes, which due to the ongoing pandemic, has one more year to go; by which time a new president would be elected.
Besides the former Everton boss, the likes of Pep Guardiola and Xavi have also been touted to make returns to the Camp Nou in coaching roles. However, both the Spaniards are not willing to take over the hot-seat with Bartomeu at the helm and would wait until Joan Laporta potentially makes a return for another presidential tenure.