Koeman may replace Setien as Barcelona coach – Balague

Barcelona manager, Quique Setien, is to be sacked on Monday and Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman could be the man to replace him, says Guillem Balague.

La Liga runners-up Barcelona were humiliated in an 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich as they crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage on Friday.

Setien, 61, was hired as Ernesto Valverde’s replacement in January.

However, he failed to lead his side to a trophy in 2019-20.

On Sunday night Spanish radio station Cadena COPE said they had spoken to Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu who told them Setien had been sacked. A board meeting is due to take place at 10:00 BST on Monday.

Spanish football expert Balague says former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has “been approached”, but ex-Barca player Koeman would be a more popular choice.

“The board will meet tomorrow and [Setien] will be sacked,” Balague told the BBC 5 Live Euro Leagues podcast. “They have to choose a manager because in two weeks time pre-season starts – and the talk is Koeman could be the man.

“He said no to an offer in January, but this is different. I think his health situation may have played a part. Discussions may be taking place, we may hear tomorrow, but he will need to separate from the national side so there is still a wait for that to happen.

“He is a name who will, more or less, make everybody happy.”

Former Everton and Southampton manager Koeman, 57, who was appointed as Netherlands manager in February 2018, was rushed to hospital in May with chest complaints but said afterwards he felt “fit as a fiddle”.

Pochettino, who has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham after five years in charge in November, is also being linked with the role.

According to Balague, the Argentine is in the running but his appointment would not be a well received by the fans, due to his history as both a player and manager for local rivals Espanyol.

Instead, Koeman may oversee a “year of transition” before ex-Barca midfielder Xavi, currently in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd, would arrive.


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