Ernesto Valverde sacked as Barcelona coach as Catalan giants appoint Quique Setien

Ruben Hill
January 14, 2020

English tabloid the Daily Mail says former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, now without a club, could be a possible replacement.

His agent arrived in Barcelona late in the evening to discuss personal terms. Xavi said he met with Barcelona sports director Eric Abidal on Friday in Doha but did not reveal the nature of the meeting.

But Barcelona is different, it views success through a different prism, which is why the future of coach Ernesto Valverde is uncertain, according to numerous reports. The Argentine manager used to play and coach for Barcelona's city rival, Espanyol.

Setien led Betis to a sixth-place finish in 2018 and qualification for the Europa League but, despite overseeing a thrilling 4-3 victory at Camp Nou early the following season, results tailed off.

Quique Setien and former Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito are the other two names on Barcelona's shortlist.

His coaching career kicked off in 2001 at Racing Santander, leading the team to promotion to the Spanish top flight.

Barca made the decision to extend Valverde's deal for an additional season in February of a year ago, which preceded an embarrassing Champions League capitulation at the hands of Liverpool just months later, having done similar against Roma in the previous campaign.

Barcelona had let a 2-1 lead slip to lose 3-2 to Atletico Madrid.

He helped the club win the Copa del Rey in 2017-18, as well as last season's Spanish Super Cup.

In each of his two seasons as Barcelona gaffer, Ernesto Valverde won the Spanish La Liga title, but that did not prevent him from getting the axe as the club made up their plan on Sunday, January 12.

The Catalan club are expected to part company with Ernesto Valverde as soon as they can find a replacement.

Barça sit atop La Liga at the halfway stage, but are ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference alone, and will be without Luis Suarez for the majority of the second half of the season.

For the Catalans, one of the most successful clubs in European soccer, it is not only about what is won, but how those victories are achieved.

It remains to be seen if Setien will make his coaching debut over the weekend when Barcelona hosts Granada on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET - stream via fuboTV (Try for free).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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