Mauricio Pochettino and Xavi Frontrunners to Replace Quique Setien as Barcelona Boss

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino is a favourite to take over from Quique Setien at Camp Nou | Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino is the frontrunner to replace Quique Setien as Barcelona manager, with Xavi also in the fray.

Setien's days in Catalonia are numbered after he led his side to a humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Friday.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi was dejected after Barcelona's humiliating defeat | Pool/Getty Images

According to Mundo Deportivo, although the loss to Die Roten was the final straw, the former Real Betis boss was always likely to be sacked at the end of the season. Frosty relationships with some of the club's top stars are cited as the main reason, but results on the pitch have also played a factor.

Setien surrendered the La Liga title to Real Madrid back in July and Barça were dumped out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Club at the quarter final stage.

Barça's search for a new head coach began some time ago with former Tottenham boss Pochettino at the top of their wishlist. Catalan radio station RAC1 (via Daily Mail) have reported that the Argentine even had dinner with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu earlier this month.

Pochettino previously distanced himself for managing the Blaugrana, though he has recently distanced himself from those comments.

Another coach in the conversation is Xavi, whose only managerial experience so far has come with Qatar based Al-Sadd. The legendary midfielder was asked to takeover from Ernesto Valverde in January but refused, instead opting to sign a new contract with his current employers.

It is understood that Xavi will only joined Barca after next summer's presidential elections as he is a favourite of one of the leading candidates, Victor Font.

Another option is Ronald Koeman, who has some supporters within the Barcelona hierarchy. However, a deal seems unlikely with the 57-year-old enjoying his time in charge of his native Netherlands. He is also still recovering from a heart attack suffered in May.