Barcelona is said to have reached out to former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino about the possibility of replacing current manager Ernesto Valverde.
Valverde remains under contract until the end of the season but has found himself under immense pressure this season after a period of inconsistent form. As a result, Barcelona has openly been looking for potential replacements – failing to play down the raft of speculation doing the media rounds.
Plenty of names have been suggested, but RAC1 have surprisingly thrown Pochettino into the mix, suggesting that he is the ‘main target’ to replace Valverde.
It seems that RAC1 know just how crazy this story is as they pretty much confirm that it will not happen as a result of Pochettino’s links to Espanyol, who are Barcelona’s local rivals.
“I will never be the coach of Barça or Arsenal because I am very close to Espanyol and Tottenham. I prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than to train certain clubs,” the Argentine said back in January 2018.
With a move for Pochettino seemingly almost impossible, Barcelona may have to focus on their other options.
The belief is that they want to part ways with Valverde as soon as possible, with Mundo Deportivo claiming he could even be dismissed on Monday after a meeting between club officials.
Former Real Betis boss Quique Setién and Estudiantes’ Gabi Milito are both suggested as options, although Al Sadd boss Xavi Hernández is thought to be their top priority. The Spaniard has rejected a January switch but is still hopeful of taking over in the summer.
With Barcelona looking for someone to take over until then, Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has also been contacted, but Catalunya Ràdio notes that he has also declined the chance to join midway through the season.
With all their targets saying no, Mundo Deportivo adds that Barcelona could turn to current Barça B boss García Pimienta, claiming he is being ‘seriously considered’ as a temporary replacement.
Pimienta has informed club officials that he would be prepared to step in if needed – and he believes that he is qualified enough to steer the team to glory.
Valverde’s position looks to be under a greater threat with each passing day and it certainly seems as though Barcelona are doing all they can to replace him immediately, rather than wait until he can walk away in the summer.
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