5 candidates to be next Barcelona manager with Catalan giants set to sack Setien

Quique Setien's dire spell as Barcelona boss is set to come to an end after his side were thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich the Champions League quarter-finals last Friday.

Whether his time at the Camp Nou was ill-fated or whether he was the architect of his own downfall, Setien's term at Barca will be remembered as a disastrous one.

He replaced Ernesto Valverde at the Catalan giants in January but was under pressure only one month later as his side exited the Copa del Rey in the quarter-finals to Athletic Bilbao.

Barcelona then squandered a lead at the La Liga summit as they missed out on the title to arch-rivals Real Madrid – and the crushing defeat to Bayern was the straw that broke the camel's back.

With Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu claiming Setien has been sacked, Mirror Football has identified five candidates who could take over.

Ronald Koeman

Netherlands boss Koeman is the bookies' favourite to replace Setien.

A club legend thanks to his glittering six-year spell at Camp Nou and a former Barcelona assistant manager, Koeman led the Netherlands to a second-place finish in the UEFA Nations League last year.

The ex-Southampton and Everton boss also won league titles as a manager with Ajax and PSV and has experience coaching in Spain – leading Valencia to the Copa del Rey in 2008.

Xavi

Another Barcelona legend due to his heroics on the pitch, Xavi was heavily linked with the Camp Nou hot seat earlier this year.

The 40-year-old spent 18 years with the Catalan giants after emerging from La Masia and is considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

His short managerial career has also been a success so far, as he led Al Sadd to the Qatar Cup this year after Super Cup success in 2019.

However, Xavi is contracted at Al Sadd until 2021 and there are doubts he would leave to join Barcelona just yet.

Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino has been one of the most sought-after managers in Europe since his sacking by Tottenham last November.

The Argentine led Spurs to near misses in the Premier League and in the Champions League and has been linked with the jobs at Manchester United and more recently Manchester City.

A quality coach with a pleasing style of play, Pochettino certainly fits the bill at Barcelona but his own personal loyalties to city rivals Espanyol – where he was a player then manager – may prove a stumbling block.

Who should Barcelona appoint as their next manager? Have your say below.

Francisco Javier Garcia Pimienta

Garcia Pimienta is the current Barcelona B boss and knows the club inside out, having come through the ranks at La Masia as a player and having managed the youth or B teams since 2006.

He led Barcelona's academy stars to UEFA Youth League glory in the 2017/18 campaign and has staked his claim to the senior job with his management of the reserves for the last two seasons.

It would be a gamble, but Barcelona appointing a manager from their B team has worked wonders in the past – who could forget Pep Guardiola leading the club to a historic treble in his first season in charge?

Pep Guardiola

Speaking of Guardiola, the Manchester City boss has long-been linked with a return to the club where he earned legendary status twice-over thanks to his performances at the heart of midfield then in the technical area.

Guardiola led Barcelona to three La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey triumphs and Champions League glory twice in his four seasons in charge.

The Spaniard has entered the final year of his contract at the Etihad and his future is uncertain following another exit from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Is it time for a return to where it all began?

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