Barcelona has four strong contenders to succeed Ronald Koeman. After managing Barca’s worst-ever start to a Champions League campaign, Koeman now appears to be a hollow shell at Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana have never lost their opening two games in the competition, but they lost 3-0 against Benfica on Wednesday, making it two 3-0 losses in a row. After monitoring this weekend’s match against Atletico Madrid, Koeman now appears to be in line for a replacement during the international break.
According to multiple reports, Barcelona is currently interviewing applicants to choose a long-term leader for their project. According to Mundo Deportivo, four people have already emerged as front-runners.
Laporta, on the other hand, is content to kill time. According to Catalunya Ràdio, Al Sadd manager Xavi Hernández, whose arrival would immediately bring the fans and the club back together, and Belgium manager Roberto Martnez, who has proven his tactical magic at both club and international level, are the two names at the top of the Barça president’s list.
Xavi has always suggested that now isn’t the greatest moment to take the role. However, with the situation being “serious,” as Busquets puts it, both parties may be willing to reconsider their positions. Some have speculated that Laporta is enraged because Xavi backed another candidate in the last election – but he never publicly endorsed Victor Font, and Jordi Cruyff was also linked to Font but ended up working with Laporta.
The primary four players being considered are former midfielder Xavi, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, and free agents Antonio Conte and Andre Pirlo.
Other candidates will be interviewed, but these four have been identified as head coaches who play the type of football that Joan Laporta and his board of directors want to see at Camp Nou.
Given Barca’s financial difficulties, money may play a role, although it’s worth noting that only Conte and Pirlo would come for free, with Martinez and Xavi’s current employers owed compensation if they are to be persuaded to Camp Nou.