President Josep Maria Bartomeu has publicly claimed that Setièn will be in charge for the 2020/21 season but privately there is an awareness that should the club fail in next month’s Champions League, then the 61-year-old is set for the chop.
It’s a situation you would have scarcely been believed five years ago, when Barça were parading the Champions League trophy around Berlin’s Olympiastadion having just won their second Treble and looking set to dominate Europe for years to come.
Since then a number of catastrophic decisions at board level have left Barça in a position where they are the richest club in world football but have to sell before they can buy any players this summer, are desperately offloading the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitić and have a squad in open revolt against their inept coach.
And so, they are hoping to turn to one of their own – a midfielder who spent his entire playing career at Camp Nou, who knows the club better than anyone, and has the respect of every single member of the squad.
Xavi is the ‘almost unanimous’ choice for the job.
The current Al Saad boss wants Pep Guardiola-levels of control, should he accept the job, and will not become a patsy for the current regime.
Xavi wants Jordi Cryuff to come in and work as technical director, whilst the entire backroom and medical staff will also be replaced under his watch.
That’s a huge amount of turnover behind the scenes for a club that is already working on foundations made of sand.
And let’s not forget, this is a coach who has only managed in the Qatari Super League. Xavi may be a club legend but a guaranteed success that does not make.
Yes, it worked when Barça opted for Guardiola over José Mourinho back in 2008, but Pep is a once-in-a-generation talent who took over a club who had won the Champions League two years earlier and were welcoming in their greatest batch of youth players ever.
That is absolutely not the case for Xavi.
It also seems to have worked for Arsenal, hiring Mikel Arteta and right now in the midst of their best levels of performance since mid-era Arsène Wenger.
But Arteta spent years working under Guardiola at Manchester City, learning from the best and being there on the front line.
Xavi may become a brilliant coach one day, but things at Barcelona right now are a total mess and need a steady, experienced man to right the wrongs of the past few years.
Ronald Koeman would arguably be a better choice right now, as would the currently out-of-work Mauricio Pochettino.
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