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Ronald Koeman sacked as Barcelona manager

President Joan Laporta now faces challenge of installing his first manager since returning to the helm

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28 October 2021 10:26 AM

by

Cillian Shields | Barcelona

FC Barcelona have sacked Ronald Koeman as their manager after Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Rayo Vallecano.

The loss comes just days after Barça’s toothless 1-2 reverse in the clásico against Real Madrid, with the dismal week proving the final straw for club president Joan Laporta. 

Sergi Barjuan, the coach of Barça B, will act as interim manager while the club search for a permanent replacement. 

After months of rumours on the Dutch coach’s future, Laporta has finally removed him from his position after openly pondering a managerial change last summer. 

More recently, the president had given the manager reassurances that his position was safe, only for the two defeats this week to prove too much. 

Now, Laporta faces the challenge of installing a manager to lead the first time for the first time since he’s returned to the club. Koeman had been hired by his predecessor in the position, Josep Maria Bartomeu. 

Speculation has linked former Barça midfielder Xavi Hernández to the position for years now, and he will be one of the favourites to take up the mantle. The newspaper La Vanguardia has reported on Thursday morning that he is currently negotiating an exit from his contract at Qatari club Al Sadd.  

Other potential candidates named in the media include River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo, Belgium boss Roberto Martínez, and Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.

With the news of Barça's troubling finances coming out piece by piece over the last couple of years, including most recently the revelations that the club's liabilities now total €1.35 billion, Laporta has been keen to emphasise that the fault lies predominantly with former president Bartomeu, who racked up eye-watering levels of debt and unsustainably high wages in an ageing and depreciating squad.

Whoever Laporta brings in now will hold a position fundamentally different from Koeman as they will have been appointed by the president, adding a certain level of accountability

Barça face huge challenges this season, as their Champions League campaign began with two morale-sapping defeats and the team are currently languishing in mid-table in La Liga.

The bare minimum that the next FC Barcelona manager must achieve is qualifying for next season's Champions League, as failure to do so would have further drastic consequences on the club's finances. 

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  • Former FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman (image from FC Barcelona's twitter feed)

  • Former FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman (image from FC Barcelona's twitter feed)

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