The list of possible replacements for Luis Enrique as Barcelona manager could have just gotten a tiny bit longer, at least according to TuttoMercatoWeb. The Italian website says current Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst is in the running, alongside Everton’s Ronald Koeman and Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino.
The Dutchman spent four seasons as a player at Barcelona, winning the Champions League. He also played for Feyenoord, RKC Waalwijk, Rangers, and Arsenal.
“Gio,” as he was known in Catalonia, ticks off the “Barça DNA” checkbox that the board are interested in. Plus, he knows Spanish well. And he’s getting good results in the Netherlands.
After retiring as a player, Van Bronckhorst first served as the assistant manager of the Netherlands U21 team and then as an assistant to Koeman in his time managing Feyenoord. They finished second that season and Koeman left.
Gio continued as an assistant, this time under Fred Rutten, in the 2014-15 Eredivisie season. Feyenoord finished in fourth place, which was considered a disappointment, and Rutten was fired, with Gio appointed as his successor.
In Gio’s first season as head coach, his team improved to a third place finish and won the KNVB cup. He’s followed it up with what could be an even better season: while Feyenoord are out of the cup, they’re in first place in the league.
While there are certainly reasons Gio could be under consideration, I think the key question here is: why would TMW, an Italian site, have insider knowledge of a Dutch coach in the Netherlands or a Catalan team?
I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying be skeptical. In any case, that list of potential replacements is getting quite long.