Ronald Koeman could be appointed the new Barcelona manager this week to take over from Quique Setien.
Ronald Koeman is the frontrunner to be the next Barcelona manager after the club confirmed the sacking of Quique Setien.
Setien was sacked in a meeting with technical director Eric Abidal just days after the humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Koeman – a Barcelona great as a player – is said to be the preferred choice of president Josep Maria Bartomeu, with an announcement expected in the next few days.
A Barcelona statement read: “This is the first decision within a wider restructuring of the first team which will be agreed between the current technical secretary and the new coach, who will be announced in the coming days.”
Barca would need to pay compensation to get Koeman out of his current role as Netherlands head coach.
Ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is also a strong candidate. He is the preferred choice of director Ramon Planes, with whom he worked at Espanyol.
However, the potential appointment of Pochettino has been met with opposition from ‘El Entorno’ – a term coined by Johan Cruyff in 1992 to describe the ‘environment’ of influential media and fans surrounding the team.
Pochettino is said to be interested in the job despite distancing himself in the past because of his legacy with Espanyol.
He recently did an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais in which he tried to make amends for previous comments. Pochettino was a prominent player and then head coach at Espanyol.
Some members of the Barca board also hold out hope of convincing Xavi to return to the club. He is currently in charge at Qatari side Al Sadd.
Other names in the frame include Laurent Blanc, who is another ex-Barca player, and Barca B head coach Garcia Pimienta.
Presidential elections in March
The club have also brought forward the date of the next presidential elections, which will now take place on the first matchday after March 15, 2021.
Elections have normally taken place in the summer, usually in June, but they have resisted calls for an immediate ballot to be held, saying it is “not feasible”.
“After considering all options, the board consider this to be the most viable date for the aforementioned elections,” a statement read.