Mauricio Pochettino heads the list of possible candidates to replace Ernesto Valverde, should he be sacked, according to media reports. Former Real Betis manager Quique Setién and Barcelona B’s Xavi García Pimienta are also strongly rumored to be in the running.
The board is reportedly split on Pochettino or Setién, with García Pimienta serving as a backup option of sorts.
Thierry Henry, Roberto Martínez, and Max Allegri were also rumored at one point or another, but it seems Pochettino, Setién, and García Pimienta are the main people left in the running. Xavi Hernández and Ronald Koeman reportedly turned the job down when Barcelona offered it to them.
Pochettino most recently managed Tottenham Hotspur but previously coached Barcelona’s crosstown rivals Espanyol. The Argentine had previously gone on record suggesting he would never accept coaching Barça due to his loyalty to Espanyol.
Setién is a manager that gained acclaim for his possession-based style at Betis, but was ultimately fired and remains unemployed since.
García Pimienta is a loyal servant to Barcelona for a very long time, having come up first as a player through La Masia and then becoming a coach at youth levels. There have been rumors that he would take over as caretaker manager until the summer, at which point Xavi would leave Al Sadd and take the reigns at the Camp Nou.