Mauricio Pochettino is the early favorite to replace Quique Setien as Barcelona manager following the club’s Champions League humiliation on Friday.
It’s widely expected the 8-2 quarter-final defeat will see Setien sacked just seven months after replacing Ernesto Valverde in the Camp Nou hotseat.
According to RAC1, Pochettino is the club’s main target, and they have been working on his arrival “for weeks.”
Pochettino’s past with Espanyol appeared to have ruled him out of ever managing Barcelona, but he gave an interview recently where he seemed to have opened the door to a move to the Camp Nou.
“I was in Barcelona that year and I met [Barcelona president] Bartomeu in a bar. We greeted each other because we were taking the children to the same school and we were talking for five minutes. That generated a rumor that set off alarms because there were more teams that wanted us, and when they asked me I wanted to settle it drastically.
“I did not want to disrespect Barcelona. I could have said things differently. Espanyol has made a name for me. But I’m not arrogant and I didn’t like making a statement like that. Maybe now I wouldn’t because in life you never know what will happen.”
Source | El Pais
The names of Ronald Koeman and Xavi are also being mentioned but may prove tricky.
Koeman has said several times he wants to stay in charge of the Netherlands for the European Championship, while Xavi just signed a new deal with Al-Sadd.
The club legend also said in a recent interview that he does not think now is now the right time to return to Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Pochettino is available for work and reportedly met with Josep Maria Bartomeu in Barcelona earlier this week.