Former Real Betis boss Quique Setien appears to be set to take over as the new Barcelona manager, with Ernesto Valverde on the brink of the sack.


Valverde has come under increasing pressure during his spell as Blaugrana boss, with fans regularly voicing their concerns over the side's performances under his tutelage - despite two league titles in as many seasons. 


Following defeat in the Supercopa semi-finals in Saudi Arabia this month, he now seems destined to depart, and it's understood Barça officials informed Valverde on Monday that his time in charge of club is over, with a press conference set for Tuesday morning.

According to ​De Telegraaf, Ronald Koeman - a former hero for Barça in his playing days - was offered the chance to succeed Valverde, but the Dutchman has instead chosen to remain in his position as Oranje coach after guiding the side to their first major tournament since 2014.


Though ​Barcelona have failed in their pursuit of the former ​Everton manager, they quickly moved on to other candidates.


Mauricio Pochettino - who was sacked by ​Tottenham Hotspur in November - and former midfield ace Xavi Hernandez headed the early list of possible replacements. However, it is Quique Setien - last seen in charge of Real Betis - who looks set to be given the job.

The 61-year-old is currently unattached, having left Betis last May, while widespread reports (including AS) suggest the coach's agent is in Barcelona to discuss terms with the club.


A proponent for free-flowing attacking football, Setien has never won a trophy as a coach and was dismissed by Betis for a sharp drop-off in form at the end of the 2018/19 season. However, he is held in high regard in Spanish football for his tactical approach. 


According to the journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Setien will be given a two-and-half-year contract. Other reports meanwhile suggest Setien will only be given a deal until the end of the season.

Should Valverde be dismissed as expected, it would mark the first time that Barcelona have sacked a manager in the middle of a season since 2003. The last coach to be sacked mid-campaign was Louis van Gaal, with the club 20 points behind leaders Real Sociedad.


This season Valverde's Barça sit top of La Liga on the same points as Real Madrid.


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