Koeman is coming under increasing pressure at Barcelona, with club president Joan Laporta thought to be lining up replacements for the Dutchman, with Guardiola’s opinion set to be key
Ronald Koeman is walking an increasingly challenging tightrope at Barcelona, with Pep Guardiola having reportedly offered his own endorsement on who should replace the Dutchman.
Koeman has a win percentage of just over 60 per cent since he left his role as head coach of the Netherlands national team to take over at Barca.
But it has not been as impressive a reign as that statistic would make it seem, with Barca’s style of play under Koeman coming under increasing criticism.
Club president Joan Laporta is understood to be considering sacking Koeman, though a list of potential candidates would be hard to produce considering Barca’s financial situation.
There is a feeling that things at the Nou Camp are coming to a head, with renewed calls for Koeman’s sacking following Bayern Munich’s dominant win in the Champions League.
According to El Nacional, the club have a rebuilding plan ready to be put into action next summer, but it could now be brought forward.
Part of that rebuilding plan looks set to include the sacking of Koeman and the Spanish giants could return to former boss Guardiola for a hint of who should be brought in instead.
El Nacional state that the current Manchester City boss would endorse the appointment of Erik Ten Hag to the Barca hotseat.
Ten Hag would tick several boxes for the Barcelona hierarchy, having enjoyed an impressive stint as manager of Ajax.
He has led the Dutch club to two league and cup doubles, as well as taking them to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019.
The Dutchman has also frequently made it clear that he falls into the Johan Cruyff camp when it comes to his approach to football.
That attacking style of play, mainly using young stars, is highly attractive to Barcelona, who previously enjoyed unparalleled success under Cruyff disciple Guardiola.
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If Ten Hag was brought in to implement a return to the Cruyff style, it would mark a stark contrast to Koeman, who has insisted that it is a plan he is unable to implement at the current time.
“I am open to staying,” Koeman said following the defeat to Bayern. “Thanks to me, this club has a future.”
“I am a Cruyffist but also a realist. I was a defender, Johan was an attacker.”
Current Barca star Frenkie de Jong would be able to give a ringing endorsement of Ten Hag’s managerial ability, having earnt a move to the Nou Camp with his displays under the Dutchman.
But it is arguably Guardiola who will be listened to most, with the Spaniard having won 14 trophies during his reign at the club.
The person who will receive his endorsement will be Ten Hag according to El Nacional, with the two having crossed paths during their shared time at Bayern.
Guardiola spent three years in charge at the Allianz Arena, with Ten Hag heading up the club’s second team.
It now appears that Ten Hag could be set to follow his former Bayern boss to Barcelona, where he will find a club entrenched in crisis.