Ronald Koeman frontrunner for Barcelona job with Quique Setien set to be sacked

Mauricio Pochettino also a strong candidate with Laurent Blanc, Xavi and Garcia Pimienta also under consideration

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman said he did not have a very festive Sunday

Ronald Koeman is the frontrunner to replace Quique Setien as Barcelona manager.

Setien is expected to be sacked in a meeting with technical director Eric Abidal within the next few days following the humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Koeman - a Barcelona great as a player - is said to be the preferred choice of president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Netherlands Manager Ronald Koeman and newly appointed captain Virgil van Dijk speak during a press conference at the Amsterdam ArenA
Image: Barcelona would need to pay compensation to get Ronald Koeman out of his job as Netherlands head coach

Barca would need to pay compensation to get Koeman out of his current role as Netherlands head coach.

Ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is also a strong candidate. He is the preferred choice of director Ramon Planes, with whom he worked at Espanyol.

However, the potential appointment of Pochettino has been met with opposition from 'El Entorno' - a term coined by Johan Cruyff in 1992 to describe the 'environment' of influential media and fans surrounding the team.

Mauricio Pochettino
Image: Mauricio Pochettino is also a strong candidate for the Barcelona job

Pochettino is said to be interested in the job despite distancing himself in the past because of his legacy with Espanyol.

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He recently did an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais in which he tried to make amends for previous comments. Pochettino was a prominent player and then head coach at Espanyol.

Some members of the Barca board also hold out hope of convincing Xavi to return to the club. He is currently in charge at Qatari side Al Sadd.

Other names in the frame include Laurent Blanc, who is another ex-Barca player, and Barca B head coach Garcia Pimienta.

Analysis: Koeman already on borrowed time?

Spanish football expert Graham Hunter told Sky Sports News:

"There's a clear formula why they are talking to Ronald Koeman, and why he's the one they want. Number one, it's absolutely clear within the next year there will be presidential elections, the man who is very well-placed to win those, Victor Font is absolutely committed to bringing Xavi.

"So this is currently a one-year shot. Koeman is being told he can have a two-year deal which effectively seems to mean a year of work and almost certainly a year of compensation. The fact is that when the new president comes in, Font is completely committed to Xavi.

"Xavi won't come in the mean time, so it needs someone of experience, someone who knows the Nou Camp inside out, speaks the language and has a good reputation of coaching younger players - there are players on the fringes at Barcelona.

"That's why Koeman fits all those boxes, and it would appear Barcelona have fixed this deal with the Netherlands, and that Koeman, who has wanted this job for 20 years has said I'll roll the dice, I'll risk it only being a year."

Di Marzio: Messi waiting for news of new regime

Transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio told Sky Sports News:

"Barcelona will appoint Ronald Koeman as their new head coach, probably on Tuesday officially, and Messi is waiting to understand what is the situation for the club. Will the revolution be clear, not only coaching wise but other figures in the club. Then he will decide what to do.

"But it's very difficult for Barcelona to let him go even if he has these wishes. I think they will try to keep Messi for the next season, and then try to renew his contract with a new president, because the elections will be held soon."

Pique: The club needs change, nobody is safe

Gerard Pique after Barcelona's loss to Bayern
Image: Gerard Pique after Barcelona's loss to Bayern

"We can't compete like that, you can't play like that in Europe. It is not the first time, the second time or the third time, it's very tough. I hope it is useful for something," defender Gerard Pique told the club's website after Friday's defeat.

"Now everyone has to have a good look at themselves, the Club needs change and I am not talking about the coach or the players, I am not pointing the finger at anyone.

"Nobody is safe, I am the first to say that I will go if new blood has to come in, I am the first to leave. We have to have real look internally about what is best for the club."

'Xavi will arrive in a year'

Analysis by Spanish football expert Terry Gibson on Transfer Talk Podcast

"The elections are really prominent now in what happens at Barcelona. The elections are in a year's time. Nobody is happy with the current board of people who run it, particularly Jose Bartomeu the president. He will be voted out. He can't stay any longer anyway.

"That is the reason why Xavi turned the job down. Xavi is going to be on the ticket of one of the new campaigners to become the president. Therefore, Xavi doesn't want to go in for a year with this president and not too many other managers want to go in knowing that in a year's time a new president is going to be announced and when that new president makes his campaign, they will all have their managers that they're putting on the ticket. Xavi if he backs one, that person will probably win.

"In a year's time Xavi is going to be the manager of Barcelona. But which top manager in world football is really going to fancy babysitting the job for a year until the new president comes in, and you're probably going to get fired."

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