Xavi, Martinez, Conte: Who will replace Koeman as Barcelona manager?

General view of the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona

After a period of relative stability under the stewardship of Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona have been a mess. 

While Valverde could do little to turn Barca's fortunes in the Champions League around, the former Athletic Bilbao coach did at least manage to win two La Liga titles and keep his side on top of Spanish football. 

Since his sacking in 2020, the club have gone through Quique Setién and, while Ronald Koeman did win the Copa Del Rey in his first season in charge, the pressure already looks to be on the Dutchman. 

Recently, the 58-year-old walked out of a press conference without taking so much as a single question, urging the need for more time as the club prepare to go through a much-needed restructure. 

Given the sheer scale of the financial problems Barcelona are currently working with, it does seem unlikely that one man will be completely able to change everything.

After all, they are believed to be over €1bn in debt and - as was evident in their recent Champions League loss to Bayern Munich - their nucleus of young players are not yet ready to challenge the elite. 



Still, attention has reportedly turned to their next appointment. 

According to Sport, senior figures at the club are keen to bring the legendary Xavi Hernandez back, presumably in an effort to restore former glories. A crucial figure in the Pep Guardiola side which changed the face of modern football between 2008 and 2012, the 41-year-old won the Qatar Stars League last season in charge of Al Sadd. 

President Joan Laporta, however, is thought to favour a more experienced candidate. 

For his part, he's said to want to bring Xavi home to coach the B-team before moving into one of the biggest jobs in sport (just as Guardiola did) and would prefer to move for Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez. 

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While the Spaniard has a patchy record at club level, Martinez has been celebrated for his style of play at times and did manage to take Belgium to the top of the FIFA World Rankings. 

On the face of it, appointing a man relegated while in charge of Wigan over a club legend may sound somewhat strange. Still, given the problems at the club, trusting Xavi to get it right straight away - while the shadow of Guardiola looms large over him - would be an almighty risk. 

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