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5 Candidates To Replace Ronald Koeman As Barcelona Manager - Ranked

Following an all-night emergency meeting after Barcelona's 3-0 loss to Benfica, it was determined that Ronald Koeman would remain as head coach for the weekend match against Atletico Madrid.

Even though several players, such as Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets, have backed their beleaguered manager despite the poor results, Koeman is clearly on borrowed time and it is an issue of when rather than if he is fired.

Many of the game's shrewder operators would not touch the title of Barcelona manager with a barge pole under the current conditions, even though it was once perhaps the most plummest of plum jobs in all of club football.

In the press, however, there is no shortage of candidates. The following are 5 of the alleged frontrunners, ranked by their chances of succeeding Koeman.

1. Xavi Hernandez

His contract allegedly has a special 'Barcelona clause,' which permits him to depart for free if the bat signal goes up. He is currently the head coach of the Qatari team Al Sadd.

According to 90min, several people connected to Barcelona are actively working to persuade Xavi to return home. Given how close Xavi appeared to be to his opposition candidate Victor Font in this year's elections, president Laporta may still need persuasion.

If that obstacle can be surmounted, it appears that the moment for Xavi to begin his European coaching career is now, unless he decides to wait out the chaos for a more stable period.

2. Roberto Martinez

Martinez's Belgium appears to be past their prime, even though-old Catalan native is close with Jordi Cruyff (son of Johan and now special advisor to Laporta).

If Martinez is appointed, he will continue the strange trend of ex-Everton managers arriving at Camp Nou, giving hope to a future Sam Allardyce-led Barçelona.

3. Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo, a former Juventus and Milan midfielder exudes cool, but not necessarily managerial steadiness.

Juventus were dethroned as Serie A champions for the first time in over a millennium during his one season as head coach.

Despite Juve's fourth-place finish, Pirlo's stock as an up-and-coming manager remains remarkably strong, and he has Joan Laporta as a fan - perhaps because he has previously identified Johan Cruyff's Barcelona as an inspiration.

4. Giovanni van Bronckhorst

An ex-Barcelona player from the Netherlands who has coaching experience, two boxes have been marked.

Van Bronckhorst's managerial career has stalled since he departed from Guangzhou R&F in December 2020, despite early success at Feyenoord, which included winning the Eredivisie in 2017.

Despite his lack of recent major professional accomplishments, the former left-back is still being considered.

5. Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag, like Gallardo, is one of the hottest managerial names outside of the top five European clubs, having led Ajax to a period of domestic supremacy and the Champions League semi-final.

Naturally, his Ajax ties add to the Barcelona speculation, but it appears he has also taken himself out of the contest - albeit less decisively than some others.

Credits: Marca, Twitter, Google

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Barcelona Frenkie de Jong Ronald Koeman Sergio Busquets Xavi Hernandez

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