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Football Reporting


Barcelona: Ronald Koeman sacking a matter of when, not if

It’s a question of time, money and finding the right replacement: Ronaldo Koeman’s days as Barcelona head coach are numbered. It’s a case of when he goes, not if. Following Monday’s disappointing home draw with Granada in LaLiga, Koeman’s standing in the eyes of club president Joan Laporta is no longer salvageable.

Koeman looks unlikely to be Barcelona boss after international break

For the moment, the Dutchman will remain in charge of Barça and is expected to take charge of the Blaugrana’s upcoming games against Cádiz, Levante, Benfica and possibly even Atlético Madrid. However, his prospects of remaining in the Camp Nou dugout beyond the October international break look bleak.

For now, Koeman is still in his post because Barça can’t find anyone to take over from the 58-year-old. The financial hurdles towards sacking the coach also remain, albeit to a lesser extent than in July, when the club was in such a parlous state that Laporta had to stage an about-turn after telling Koeman that he was looking for a replacement.

Although it would be a mid-season appointment, Laporta doesn’t want an interim coach tasked with getting Barça through to the end of the campaign; he wants a long-term replacement who’ll begin building a solid new project and who he can identify as his man.

Koeman (right) appears unlikely to survive much longer under returning Barcelona president Joan Laporta (left).

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Laporta keen on Roberto Martínez

However, it’s not easy to make such an appointment with the season underway. Laporta is an admirer of Roberto Martínez, but the Belgium boss doesn’t appear willing to leave his position now, with the Red Devils just about to play the UEFA Nations League finals in October. However, he could arrive after the international break.

Barcelona won’t be looking in-house for Koeman replacement

The Barcelona president has ruled out the option of promoting from within. While still Barça B head coach, Francisco Javier García Pimienta had been strongly tipped to make the step up to the first team, but the 47-year-old was fired following Laporta’s return to the Camp Nou, with Sergi Barjuan taking over as second-team boss.

In addition to Martínez, a host of other names are being linked with the Barça job, including former Germany boss Joachim Löw and ex-Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte. The Italian’s likely financial demands appear to make him an unfeasible option.

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