It would be safe to suggest that Quique Setien’s tenure in charge of FC Barcelona has not gone to plan and has perhaps seriously underwhelmed those associated with the club with his guidance as the manager.
The Catalan giants were pipped to the La Liga title with arch-nemesis Real Madrid being crowned champions with a five-point swing, whilst their displays in the Copa del Rey certainly left much to be desired. The Blaugrana would end up going out in the quarter-final of the competition as they were beaten by Athletic Club Bilbao.
Therefore, it is no real surprise that a number of media outlets in recent weeks have decided to speculate about Setien’s future at the Camp Nou, with a number of high-profile names having been linked with the hot seat should the club decide to make a change in the summer.
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So, with that in mind, who are the likely candidates to lead FC Barcelona into the 2020/21 campaign as they look to bring the fame and glory back to the Spanish behemoths?
Admittedly, whilst Seiten might already be at the helm of the club, he does perhaps have a chance of saving his job; winning the 2019/20 edition of the Champions League.
It is a long shot, though, as players have looked to be against his ways and his ideas have appeared to be rather stale at times as results have clearly been way below expectation for a club of the magnitude of the Blaugrana.
Laurent Blanc has been tipped to replace Seiten already and the former France national manager could be a new face that brings plenty of experience and much-needed exuberance to the squad with his methods.
The ex-defender has plenty of experience winning at the top level, with stints in charge of France and Paris Saint-Germain, however his last role ended in 2016, therefore there may be some question marks over whether he can walk back into a job as highly pressurised as the role at the Camp Nou.
FC Barcelona legend, Xavi, is another name that has been tipped to be a potential successor for Setien, although he would be perhaps a risk at this stage of his managerial career.
Arguments could be made along the lines that others have had success, whilst he can also hit the ground running as he knows the club like the back of his hand. However, Xavi is currently involved with Qatari side Al-Sadd and has recently signed an extension to his current deal.
Reports recently have suggested Lionel Messi has told FC Barcelona to look at appointing Marcelo Bielsa as their new manager after the Argentine superstar slammed his team for their recent poor performances.
However, although joining the Catalans could be extremely tempting, Bielsa has just guided Leeds United to the Premier League and appears to already have built a real affinity with the club. It seems hard to imagine him leaving Elland Road before giving England’s top-flight an opportunity.
Former Dutch icon and FC Barcelona legend, Patrick Kluivert, has also had his name splashed over the pages in Spain as a potential successor to Setien, with players said to want the ex-forward as their new manager.
Kluivert could be a great addition as he knows the club well and has had experience managing some of their superstars as he overlooked the famed La Masia academy as a director and is believed to be ready to jump into big-time club management after spells with FC Twente and Curacao.