Football

Ronald Koeman set to replace Quique Setien at Barcelona: Reports

Holland coach Ronald Koeman has emerged as the front-runner to replace Quique Setien at Barcelona, reported the Spanish and British media yesterday.

The details of the 57-year-old Dutchman's contracts are being finalised, following negotiations between the Catalan side and the Dutch football association, said Mundo Deportivo.

Setien's fate was sealed after their 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last Friday, which came after Barca ceded the La Liga title to arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague told the BBC that former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was also approached, but the Argentine would not be a popular choice with fans as he had been both player and coach with Barca's local rivals Espanyol.

Balague told the BBC 5 Live Euro Leagues podcast: "They have to choose a manager because in two weeks, pre-season starts - and the talk is Koeman could be the man.

"He said 'no' to an offer in January, but this is different. His health situation may have played a part."

Koeman, who took over as Holland coach in February 2018, had two stents inserted into his blocked arteries in May. He later said that he "feels very healthy".

The former Southampton and Everton manager, who also played for Barcelona from 1988-95, steered Holland to this summer's postponed European Championship.

But, should things fall through, Barcelona B boss Francisco Javier Garcia Pimienta could make the step up, reported Marca.

Football