Barcelona rush to ap­point Koe­man af­ter ax­ing Se­tien

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport | Football - By Ja­son Burt

Ron­ald Koe­man is set to be named the new head coach of Barcelona as early as to­day, with the 57-year-old ne­go­ti­at­ing to leave his role as head coach of Hol­land.

Koe­man will suc­ceed Quique Se­tien, who was dis­missed yes­ter­day af­ter an emer­gency board meet­ing fol­low­ing the 8-2 Cham­pi­ons League hu­mil­i­a­tion at the hands of Bay­ern Mu­nich, al­though the de­ci­sion to re­place him was taken be­fore then.

Koe­man has made no se­cret of his de­sire to one day coach the club for whom he used to play and work for as an as­sis­tant. How­ever, he turned Barcelona down in Jan­uary, af­ter Ernesto Valverde was sacked, partly be­cause he in­tended to take Hol­land to Euro 2020.

Koe­man has a break clause in his con­tract with the Dutch foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion, but that only al­lows him to go to Barcelona af­ter the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship.

How­ever, the Dutch are un­likely to stand in his way if he wants to leave, even though Barcelona are ex­pected to of­fer an ini­tial one-year deal, with an op­tion for an ad­di­tional 12 months, be­cause pres­i­den­tial elec­tions take place next year.

Koe­man will be tak­ing over at a dif­fi­cult times, with doubts over the fu­ture of Lionel Messi, hun­dreds of mil­lions wasted on an un­der­per­form­ing squad and the Nou Camp ren­o­va­tion on hold.

Pres­i­dent Josep Maria Bar­tomeu is highly un­pop­u­lar and is ex­pected to be ousted, with for­mer player Xavi Her­nan­dez lined up as a pos­si­ble new coach by pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Vic­tor Font.

Barcelona fin­ished five points be­hind Real Madrid in the league and lost in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Span­ish Cup, be­fore crash­ing out of the Cham­pi­ons League. It is the first time in 12 years that they have ended a sea­son with­out a tro­phy. Nev­er­the­less, it ap­pears Koe­man is set to ac­cept the chal­lenge af­ter board mem­bers ap­par­ently op­posed hir­ing Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino, Bar­tomeu’s first choice.

Re­build: Ron­ald Koe­man is set to leave his job with Hol­land to over­see the Barcelona re­ju­ve­na­tion af­ter a woe­ful cam­paign

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