Barcelona chief Bartomeu lines up Blaugrana legend Ronald Koeman to replace under-fire Quique Setien
- Barcelona head coach Setien has come under fire due to the Catalans' dire performances since the restart of the LaLiga season.
- In the event of Setien's departure, Ronald Koeman is reportedly Barcelona's first choice to replace Setien.
Former Barcelona player and assistant coach Ronald Koeman is being lined up as a potential replacement for Quique Setien, according to reports. The Spaniard has come under massive criticism for his side's unsuccessful defence of the LaLiga Santander title so far. He was recruited upon Ernesto Valverde's sacking, and reports now suggest that he could be fired before the end of the season.
Reputed Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda believes that there is a genuine possibility that Barcelona chief Josep Maria Bartomeu makes this decision. There is growing unrest in the Barcelona camp after dropping four crucial points since the restart of the league season.
Speaking to El Chiringuito, Inda explained that the Barcelona dressing room are beginning to lose faith in Setien's methods. He believes that although Setien hadn't gone as far as Rafa Benitez did when he told Cristiano Ronaldo how to shoot at Real Madrid, he isn't too far off.
Koeman 'crazy' for Barcelona job
Should Setien get the sack, which Inda believes could happen even if Barcelona win the league, Koeman is being assessed as his successor. He revealed that Barcelona's first choice for the job was club legend Xavi, but the former midfielder's demands were too high.
Inda remarked in an exclusive broadcast on Mega;
"[Josep Maria] Bartomeu wants Xavi to coach Barcelona, but Xavi asked for the departure of [Eric] Abidal and the president would not grant it [Abidal's departure] to him."
The Spaniard, who is the director of Spanish publication OKDARIO, remarked that should Barcelona make an offer for Koeman, the Dutchman is likely to accept it. He says Koeman is 'crazy' for the Barcelona job, revealing,
"That is why a cover [back-up option] appears, a player that was very important for Barça in 1992: Ronald Koeman. Even if he is with the Netherlands [national team], if they tell him that he is going to train Barcelona, I think he would leave the team [Netherlands]. He is crazy to go to Barca."
Koeman, one of Barcelona's most legendary centre-halves, was appointed as the head coach of the Netherlands in early 2018. He has done a phenomenal job with the Oranje so far and helped them qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020. This came on the back of the disappointment of missing out on FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification.
The former Barcelona legend was the head coach of Premier League club Everton before accepting the offer to coach the Netherlands. In his 58-game stay with the Toffees, he registered 24 wins, 14 draws and 20 draws. The major stumbling block could be Koeman's ambitions to lead the Netherlands at the upcoming Euros in 2021.
It is believed that Setien is almost certain to be relieved from his duties as Barcelona's manager. He has reportedly failed to gain the trust of club captain Lionel Messi and Setien's assistant, Eder Sarabia, has caused quite a stir as well.
Barcelona sit two points behind Real Madrid on the LaLiga table and are set to host Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Published 30 Jun 2020, 07:25 IST