Barcelona set to sack manager Ernesto Valverde, hire Quique Setien

Barcelona set to sack manager Ernesto Valverde, hire Quique Setien

Barcelona set to sack manager Ernesto Valverde, hire Quique Setien

However, in a stylistic sense at least, Setien should fit in perfectly at Barcelona having been inspired by Johan Cruyff's side while playing against them in the late 1980s.

Valverde's departure had been signalled at lunchtime after he had taken training for the first session since the Supercopa de Espana semi-final in Qatar on Thursday.

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino have been mentioned as potential alternatives to Xavi if he decides he is not ready to return to Barca.

However, reports in Spain claim that Xavi has expressed a desire to become a coach at the Nou Camp in the future.

And while the 55-year-old has delivered back-to-back Primera Division titles and now has the Blaugrana sitting at the top of La Liga - albeit on goal difference - European disappointment is not the only black mark next to Valverde's name.

Xavi, who is now in charge of Qatari team Al-Sadd, held talks with Barca's sporting director Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau on Friday and Saturday.

Setien's contract runs through the 2022 season.

Xavi is also said to want to show respect to Valverde, who has overseen Barcelona winning two La Liga titles in his two seasons in charge.

Bartomeu then drove to Camp Nou, where he held a board meeting with several club officials including chief executive Oscar Grau, technical secretary Javier Bordas, vice president Jordi Cardoner and sporting director Eric Abidal.

But Xavi added: "I can not hide that it's my dream to coach Barcelona, I said it many times".

Setien had been with Betis since 2017 until deciding to take some time off at the end of last season.

It felt like last season would have been the final straw when Barca blew a 3-0 lead in the Champions League semifinals to eventual champion Liverpool and fell short to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final. In 163 matches with Barcelona, he won 108, lost 20 and drew 35.

Barcelona lead the standings on 40 points, ahead of second-placed Real Madrid on goal difference.

For the Catalans, one of the most successful clubs in European soccer, it is not only about what is won, but how those victories are achieved.

His first game in charge will be at home to Granada on Sunday.

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