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Football Reporting


Barcelona: Xavi and Roberto Martinez the favourites to replace Koeman

Ronald Koeman is clinging onto his job at Barcelona by the tips of his fingernails. Joan Laporta has made his position on the Dutchman clear, and there are two frontrunners for the job at the Camp Nou should it become available in the coming days or weeks.

One of Xavi Hernandez or Roberto Martinez is currently seen as the most likely to come in and take Koeman‘s place if Laporta is to pull the trigger, though no official contact has been made with either as of yet.

Both coaches do currently have jobs, with Xavi working in Qatar and Martinez still in charge of the Belgian national team. While this won’t be something that stands in Barcelona‘s way, there are other factors that have to be considered by the club.

Xavi would want to take full control of ongoings around the dressing room, and he would insist on bringing his own team with him. Martinez‘s stance is similar, though he would have a smaller team to come in alongside him.

Timing is another matter. The Xavi option is one that could be executed at any time, but that of Martinez can’t be. Belgium are in UEFA Nations League action between October 6 and 10, and Martinez will have a lot of work on his hands until then. Reports from Belgium also say that the coach has not, at any point, asked to be allowed to leave.

Xavi and Martinez have very different profiles as coaches, but both fit the bill for the Catalans. The former was a player at the Camp Nou for years and knows the club well, while also having enjoyed a successful start to his coaching career at Al Sadd. Martinez, for his part, has a good reputation for the job he has done with Belgium.

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As things stand, the two are the coaches that Laporta is considering to replace Koeman, and the Dutchman’s dismissal feels more imminent with each passing day.

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