Barcelona rush to appoint Koeman after axing Setien
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