FC Barcelona announced that Tito Vilanova has stepped down as the manager of the club after suffering a relapse of throat cancer.
The Spanish champions are preparing to move swiftly to appoint a new manager to focus on the coming 2013-14 season.
We look at the possible candidates who could succeed Tito as the manager of FC Barcelona.
The 43-year-old played for Barcelona from 1996 to 2004, making more than 200 appearances for the club. He took charge of the Barcelona B side from 2008-11 before moving to Roma as their manager.
Currently, the manager of Celta Vigo looks one of the likely candidate to take over as the new manager due to his knowledge of the club and its philosophy. He is reportedly leading the race to become the new manager at the Catalan club, according to the Daily Mail.
The ex-Athletic Bilbao manager is currently unattached. Santos showed interested earlier last month, but Bielsa seemed uninterested in that project.
He took Bilbao to the Europa League final in 2012. A shrewd manager, he should suit the Barcelona structure well.
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Former Paraguay manager, Gerardo Martino, has emerged as a surprise but strong favourite to take the managerial seat at FC Barcelona.
According to Marca, representatives of FC Barcelona are expected to fly to South America for negotiations next week and further talks with the Argentine, who is on holiday with family.
He was also voted the Coach of the Year in 2007 while in charge of the Paraguay national team and led the club closest to his heart, Newell’s Old Boys, to the title last season. Earlier, Martino also confessed to liking FC Barcelona's style of play.
Frank De Boer
De Boer joined Barcelona in 1999 and played the famous tiki-taka football that the club is now synonymous with.
Currently with Ajax, and given that he has already signed a contract extension with the club till 2017, Barcelona may find it tough to convince him to make a move to Spain.
Reports suggest that Heynckes is a favourite with the fans in Barcelona for the vacant managerial post. He led FC Bayern Munich to the treble last season and his coaching style was applauded by all of the footballing world.
If appointed, he will surely continue the legacy of the Spanish club and win further silverware. Currently unattached to any club.
Others like Michael Laudrup and Andre Villas-Boas have been linked with the job and although they have dismissed a possible move from their clubs in England, an offer from a club like FC Barcelona will be hard to resist.
Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell has announced that the new manager will be unveiled within a week.
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