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Barcelona's next head coach: Five contenders to replace Quique Setien

Sports Mole looks at five contenders to replace head coach Quique Setien at Barcelona following the club's humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich.

Quique Setien's short-lived reign as Barcelona head coach is expected to come to an end on Monday when the Catalan giants hold a board meeting.

The 61-year-old only took over from Ernesto Valverde in January but has presided over one of the worst periods in the club's history.

After exiting the Copa del Rey early and finishing second to Real Madrid in La Liga, Barca suffered a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the last eight of the Champions League.

That is almost certain to be Setien's final game in charge, meaning that one of the highest-profile jobs in world football is soon to become available.

Here, Sports Mole looks at five possible contenders for the Camp Nou role.


Al Sadd manager Xavi pictured at the Club World Cup in December 2019© Reuters

If Barcelona are looking for a manager who 'gets the club', they need look no further than legendary midfielder Xavi.

Xavi has spent the past 15 month in charge of Al Sadd, reaching the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League in that time, and has another year left to run on his contract.

However, the 40-year-old turned down the job when approached in January and suggested this week that he is not yet ready to return to Catalonia, where he spent two decades of his trophy-laden playing career.

Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino reacts on November 9, 2019© Reuters

It was only two years ago that Pochettino famously declared that he would rather work on a farm than manage Barcelona, the cross-city rivals of his former club Espanyol.

Speaking last month, though, the 48-year-old appeared to backtrack on those comments by saying "anything can happen" when asked about the speculation linking him with the job.

Pochettino has been out of work since leaving Tottenham Hotspur in November, five months after leading the club to the Champions League final, which will surely appeal to Barca.

Massimiliano Allegri

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri pictured in May 2019© Reuters

Arguably the hottest managerial name on the market, Allegri has been looking for the right project since leaving Juventus in May 2019.

The Italian won 11 trophies in five seasons at the Allianz Arena, while also guiding Juve to a couple of Champions League finals.

Allegri also achieved title success at AC Milan, but Barca are likely to face competition for his signature from elsewhere.

Ronald Koeman

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman on September 6, 2019© Reuters

Koeman is another who has previously been in talks with Barcelona over becoming head coach, recently explaining that he turned it down to instead stick with the Netherlands.

However, with the European Championships being pushed back 12 months, and the international fixture list decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, Koeman's stance may have changed.

The Dutchman, who has both played for and coached Barca, would need assurances that he is a long-term option and not just being brought in as a stopgap for the next year.

Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on June 17, 2020© Reuters

This may be a bit of a long shot considering that Guardiola is under contract with Manchester City for another year, but the Catalan is said to be reevaluating his future.

Man City's latest Champions League exit has led to plenty of questions being asked of Guardiola, who has now failed to win the competition in seven attempts since leaving Camp Nou.

The 49-year-old remains one of the most successful managers in Barca's history, though, and the club would no doubt love to have him back in place at some point in the near future.


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Who will take over as Barcelona's next head coach?

Mauricio Pochettino
Massimiliano Allegri
Ronald Koeman
Pep Guardiola
Mauricio Pochettino
Massimiliano Allegri
Ronald Koeman
Pep Guardiola
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Barcelona manager Quique Setien pictured on June 13, 2020
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