Mooted Barcelona target Ronald Koeman should only be given a one-year contract at Camp Nou with his future then decided by the club's next president, according to one candidate.

Koeman is reportedly set to be named as the new Blaugrana coach, leaving his role as Netherlands boss when the anticipated departure of Quique Setien is confirmed by the Catalan giants.

Setien failed to defend Barca's LaLiga crown and then suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Koeman may not be the only new face at the club, however, with the elections to come next year, potentially prompting changes in the boardroom.

Former vice-president Emili Rousaud, who quit in April, is in the running and would endorse Koeman's appointment only on a short-term basis.

"I would propose a year for Koeman, with the next conditional on who wins the election and whether they propose to continue," Rousaud told Radio Marca.

After making a call on their coach, Barca must then get to work in the transfer market. Rousaud suggests there should be plenty of outgoings.

"This cycle is over," he said. "Certain players over the age of 30 and with long contracts can't continue.

"We need to find creative solutions, such as loans of top earners to countries with lower tax rates."

Lionel Messi reportedly has no plans to hang around at Barcelona, while Neymar could be targeted for a return.

Amid the chaos at the LaLiga giants, there is fresh speculation over Messi's future.

The superstar is contracted at Barca until 2021 – but perhaps he could make a move sooner.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTS IMMEDIATE BARCELONA EXIT

Messi wants to leave Barcelona immediately, according to Esporte Interativo.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked to Premier League giants Manchester City and Serie A side Inter recently.

Contracted until next year, Messi was expected to re-sign at Barcelona, but their capitulation in the Champions League has led to chaos at the club.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Barcelona moving on from Quique Setien, where to next for the LaLiga giants? Sport reports Ronald Koeman and former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino are the main candidates, while AS says the Netherlands head coach is the frontrunner.

- Moves are also expected at Camp Nou. According to Sport, Barcelona are preparing a deal for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, ready to offer Antoine Griezmann and €60million to bring the Brazil international back to the club. AS says Barca are also prepared to sell Arthur, who is joining Juventus, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Martin Braithwaite, Junior Firpo, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele.

- Pochettino is reportedly an option for Barcelona, but the Argentinian may have options. The Sun reports City are eyeing Pochettino amid doubts over Pep Guardiola's future as manager.

- It looks like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is staying at Arsenal. The Telegraph reports Arsenal have agreed terms with the forward over a new deal.

- Chelsea are expected to sign at least one defender this close season. According to the Mirror, they are preparing a move for City defender John Stones – even if they land Brighton and Hove Albion's Lewis Dunk.

- Another Brighton and Hove Albion defender is apparently attracting interest. The Sun says Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester City are interested in Ben White, who spent 2019-20 on loan at Leeds United.

Josep Maria Bartomeu said Quique Setien "is out" as the Barcelona president confirmed the sacking of the under-fire head coach.

Barca have been tipped to sack Setien following Friday's humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

LaLiga giants Barca conceded eight goals in a game for the first time since 1946, with Setien – who replaced Ernesto Valverde in January – accepting his future was out of his hands at Camp Nou.

With Barca reportedly poised to officially announce the 61-year-old's departure on Monday, Bartomeu told COPE's Tiempo de Juego on Sunday: "Setien is out".

It comes as former defender Ronald Koeman emerges as the frontrunner to become the next Barca coach.

Netherlands boss Koeman had been linked to Barca after Valverde was sacked, before the beleaguered Spanish powerhouse eventually turned to Setien.

Koeman previously revealed his Netherlands contract contains a clause that allows him to depart for Camp Nou following Euro 2020, though the European Championship has been pushed back 12 months due to coronavirus.

In June, Koeman – who won four LaLiga titles and the European Cup/Champions League during his time at Camp Nou – told Catalunya Radio: "Everyone knows it's my dream to coach Barca".

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has also emerged as a possible option, along with club great Xavi and ex-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Barca have endured a forgettable 2019-20 season, dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga after the campaign was postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club also lost in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals and Supercopa de Espana semi-finals as Barca ended the season trophy-less.

Barca's on- and off-field woes have also prompted renewed speculation over Lionel Messi's future, with the superstar captain reportedly ready to quit the team amid ongoing links to Serie A side Inter and Premier League giants Manchester City.

With all eyes on Barcelona, Lionel Messi's future is again a talking point.

The Catalans capitulated in the Champions League on Friday, thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals in an embarrassing defeat.

Quique Setien appears set to be sacked as coach, while Messi's future has become unclear.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY TARGET MESSI AMID BARCELONA CHAOS

Manchester City think they are in pole position to sign Messi if he leaves Barcelona, according to the Mirror.

Messi, 33, is contracted to Barca until next year and is reportedly prepared to walk away from the club amid the chaos.

City have been linked with the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner previously, while Inter are another reportedly interested.

ROUND-UP

- Changes are expected at Barcelona. AS reports Messi will be free to decide his future in January, while it says Setien and technical secretary Eric Abidal are on their way out.

- The focus otherwise in Spain is on Setien's replacement at Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo reports Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is a candidate to take over at Camp Nou with Mauricio Pochettino and Al Sadd boss Xavi losing steam. Marca says Pochettino and Koeman are favourites, while Sport reports the former Tottenham manager is the frontrunner. It says Koeman, Massimiliano Allegri, Thierry Henry and Garcia Pimienta are also candidates.

- Elsewhere, Chelsea's apparent search for a defender continues. The Sun reports they are closing in on a £40million move for Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back Lewis Dunk, who is also reportedly a target for Tottenham.

- Staying at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are also linked with goalkeepers to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Sun says Chelsea and Everton are targeting Watford's 37-year-old shot-stopper Ben Foster.

- After an impressive loan spell at Roma, Chris Smalling is attracting plenty of interest. Sky Sports reports Newcastle United are keen on the Manchester United defender.

"Nobody is safe," declared Gerard Pique after Barcelona were humiliated by Bayern Munich in their final match of a long, long season.

The defender was very clear that changes must be made in the wake of an 8-2 battering in the Champions League quarter-finals.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu is expected to chair an extraordinary board meeting on Monday, when the dismissal of head coach Quique Setien appears likely to be ratified.

Barca's problems stem far beyond the man in charge of the first team, but Setien looked powerless in the dugout in Lisbon on Friday and is the first obvious departure as part of a top-down clear-out at Camp Nou.

Appointing a replacement is complicated by next year's presidential elections. Assuming Bartomeu does not heed growing calls to step aside, he will be in power for at least another 10 months. That means any coach who comes in now could find himself supplanted by the preferred choice of the next president.

With that in mind, here are six of the firm favourites to take over from Setien.

 

Mauricio Pochettino

The favourite in many quarters, former Tottenham boss Pochettino could be a hugely tempting - and low-cost - choice.

The Argentinian, who left Spurs last November five months after reaching the Champions League final, has softened his stance on coaching Barca after previously declaring he could never take the job due to his allegiance to Espanyol.

Barca would represent by far the biggest job of his coaching career and the sheer challenge of getting them back on track could appeal to Pochettino, who turned Spurs into Premier League title challengers and top-four regulars over five years.

There are reports, however, that Pochettino's appointment could be a majorly divisive move, given his previous comments about Barcelona.

Xavi

Barca's former captain turned down the coaching job in January when Ernesto Valverde was sacked, and he may think the time is still not right to take the reins.

The Catalans would need to buy out his deal with Al Sadd as well as convince Xavi to come back, plus there are political complications, with presidential challenger Victor Font declaring the former Spain star would be his choice in 2021 if he wins the election.

Still, there are few who better understand the 'Barca DNA', he is adored by the fans and, crucially, he could be the man to convince Lionel Messi to stay.

 

Massimiliano Allegri

Another unattached option, Allegri has a commendable pedigree from his time with Milan and Juventus. Six Serie A titles, seven domestic cups and two Champions League finals in the past decade give Allegri a CV to rival any candidate.

He would certainly bring an uncompromising authority to the dressing room, as well as vast experience, but the 53-year-old could well be put off by the complications of those elections, especially given other leading clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Inter are said to be interested if they make a change.

Patrick Kluivert

Kluivert represents one of Bartomeu's more sensible possible appointments given he would probably accept the job despite the uncertainty of next year.

The former Barca striker is currently head of youth football at Camp Nou, and that is a role to which he could return if the head coach position became untenable in 2021.

He is another who understands the club well, would presumably be more than happy to promote youngsters to the first team, and he learned some of his coaching craft at the right hand of Louis van Gaal with the Netherlands national team.

 

Ronald Koeman

Another former Barca star who knows only too well the demands of the club, Koeman also spoke with them about replacing Valverde only to turn them down.

Like Xavi, Koeman is committed to his present project, which is to lead Netherlands at Euro 2020. With that tournament having been pushed back to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 57-year-old would appear unlikely to quit his national team now for the sake of a potential short-term posting at his old club.

Garcia Pimienta

Like Kluivert, Pimienta represents an internal candidate who would likely be unmoved by the looming elections.

A former academy player who made one appearance for the senior side, Pimienta has been coaching at La Masia since 2001 and took charge of the B team two years ago.

It would be unfair to expect him to become the new Pep Guardiola or Luis Enrique, who also honed their first-team credentials with the B team, but the 46-year-old would likely be a popular choice for the new generation of talent breaking through, even if the appointment lasted only until next year.

Ronald Koeman said "everyone knows it's my dream to coach Barcelona", but the Dutchman remains focused on the Netherlands.

Koeman had been linked to Barca after Ernesto Valverde was sacked, before the LaLiga champions eventually turned to Quique Setien in January.

Former Barca defender Koeman previously revealed his Netherlands contract contains a clause that allows him to depart for Camp Nou following Euro 2020, though the European Championship has been pushed back 12 months due to coronavirus.

Koeman, who underwent heart surgery in May, addressed the Barca speculation and his future.

"I had a phone call [from Barca], as I've explained many times. But I want to keep my word with the national team, I thought we'd have Euro 2020 this summer," Koeman told Catalunya Radio.

"I'm happy with how things are with the national team and for me, that's the most important thing at the moment. None of us know what will happen in the future.

"In my contract, there is a clause that will let me leave the national team job after the Euros but now's not the time to be thinking about that. Everyone knows it's my dream to coach Barca.

"Hopefully I might have the opportunity to do so in the future. But as always, that depends on your performance and successes as a coach - you need a lot of experience to coach a team like Barca."

LaLiga leaders Barca were two points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid when the 2019-20 season was postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's really difficult for me to say what I think about Barca," said Koeman, who won four LaLiga titles and the European Cup/Champions League during his time at Camp Nou. "Today's Barca isn't the same as [Pep] Guardiola's, but it's still a fantastic team.

"Because of [Frenkie] De Jong, I've been watching more of their games. I hope they go on to win LaLiga. As for the Champions League, they'll need to improve to be in a chance of winning it."

Netherlands international midfielder Frenkie de Jong joined Barca from Eredivisie champions Ajax at the start of the season.

De Jong had scored two goals and supplied as many assists in LaLiga before the league's suspension.

Koeman added: "I think De Jong is a player who can adapt to a new position in midfield, playing a little further forward. But I still think his best position is just in front of the back four - where [Sergio] Busquets plays. That's his best position- where he plays for the national team and where he played with Ajax.

"It's not a bad thing to adapt to other positions. He's still only young and you have to give young players time. In no time he will show his quality with Barca. He's done that with Ajax and with the national team. I'm in no doubt that he's the right player for Barca. He knows he can do more, but he's taking it all with calm because he's happy at Barca."

Ronald Koeman has left hospital after undergoing heart surgery last Sunday.

The Netherlands head coach was admitted for treatment on a blocked coronary artery.

The 57-year-old was discharged on Thursday and he issued a message of thanks to those who treated him and sent him support.

"That was a bit of a shock, last weekend," he wrote in a message tweeted by the Netherlands national team account.

"For myself, of course, but especially for my family, and for my friends.

"Fortunately, the doctors helped me quickly and wonderfully, for which I am very grateful. You get very humble from an event like this.

"It was fantastic for me to see how many people were moved. And how many sweet messages I received. From acquaintances from the football world, from clubs.

"But also from completely unknown people. That has done me a lot of good and I would like to thank everyone for that!"

Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman underwent successful heart surgery on Sunday.

Koeman, a Dutch great who starred for the Oranje from the early late 1980s and into the 1990s, was reportedly dealt with by specialists in Amsterdam.

According to De Telegraaf, Koeman was taken to the University Medical Centre (UMC) in the city and underwent treatment that involved unblocking a coronary artery and a stent being put into the vein.

De Telegraaf, which said it had its information confirmed by Koeman's wife Bartina and agent Rob Jansen, reported the 57-year-old was in a stable condition.

A statement issued by Jansen's Wasserman agency later confirmed his client had been operated on and would return home on Monday.

"Ronald Koeman was hospitalized tonight (Sunday evening) after chest complaints. The 57-year-old national team coach of the Dutch national team has undergone a successful cardiac catheterization and will return home tomorrow," it read.

The Dutch football association (KNVB) posted a message of support on Twitter, stating: "That is a shock. Fortunately things are going better again. Much strength and improvement, coach."

Koeman enjoyed a stellar playing career at club level with Groningen, Ajax, PSV, Barcelona and Feyenoord, before turning to coaching.

He had spells in charge of Ajax, PSV, Benfica, Southampton, Feyenoord, Valencia and Everton, becoming Netherlands head coach in 2018.

Koeman led his country to second place at the inaugural Nations League Finals in 2019 and sealed qualification for Euro 2020, with the tournament since pushed back a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dutchman Ronald Koeman is probably the most versatile defender of all time. Not only was he capable of playing both as a defender and as a midfielder; he frequently played as a sweeper and was equally known for his goal-scoring, long-range shooting, and accuracy from free-kicks and penalties.

He is the top-scoring defender in world football.

Koeman began his career at FC Groningen before transferring to Ajax, where he won the national Eredivise title in 1984–85. He then joined Ajax's rivals PSV, winning three consecutive Eredivisie titles (1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89) and the European Cup in 1988.

Koeman is one of five European players to win a Treble with their club and a cup with their national team in the same year. The other four players are his teammates Hans van Breukelen, Berry van Aerle, Gerald Vanenburg and Wim Kieft.

In 1989, Koeman moved to Barcelona and became part of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team", helping the club win La Liga four years in a row between 1991 and 1994, and the European Cup, where he scored the winning goal in the final against Sampdoria in 1992.

At the international level, Koeman was one of the stars of the Netherlands national team, alongside Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Dennis Bergkamp. During his career with the Netherlands, Koeman won UEFA Euro 1988 and played at the UEFA Euro 1992. He would feature in two World Cup for the Netherlands, 1990 and 1994, captaining the team in the latter.

Koeman scored an amazing 90 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and was nicknamed the King of free-kicks. He is Barcelona's second-highest goalscorer from free kicks, behind only Lionel Messi, with 26 goals from set-pieces in all competitions.

He is also Barcelona's second-highest scorer from penalties in LaLiga, behind Messi once again, with 46 goals from spot-kicks.

With 67 goals, he is the most prolific defender in LaLiga history. He currently holds the record for 25 consecutive successful penalty conversions in LaLiga.

To vote for Ronald Koeman to be part of SportsMax's Ultimate XI, visit SportsMax's Ultimate XI page and watch the SportsMax Zone today as Brent Sancho, Howie Bell, and Colin Murray take a look at your picks. The SportsMax Zone airs on SportsMax at 4:30 pm Jamaica time/5:30pm Eastern Caribbean time with a repeat on SportsMax 2 at 6 pm Jamaica time/7 pm Eastern Caribbean time.

 

Full name        Ronald Koeman

Date of birth    21 March 1963 (age 57)

Place of birth   Zaandam, Netherlands

Height  1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)

Playing position(s)      Defender / Midfielder

 

Honours

 

Ajax

Winner Eredivisie       1985

Winner KNVB Cup     1986

 

PSV

Winner Eredivisie       1987

Winner            Eredivisie        1988

Winner            KNVB Cup      1988

Winner            European Cup 1988

Runner-up       Intercontinental Cup   1988

Runner-up       UEFA Super Cup        1988

Winner Eredivisie        1989

Winner KNVB Cup      1989

 

Barcelona

Runner-up       UEFA Super Cup        1989

Winner Copa del Rey  1990

Winner La Liga            1991

Winner Supercopa de España            1991

Winner La Liga            1992

Winner European Cup 1992

Runner-up       Intercontinental Cup   1992

Winner UEFA Super Cup       1992

Winner Supercopa de España           1992

Winner La Liga           1993

Runner-up       Supercopa de España            1993

Winner La Liga            1994

Runner-up       UEFA Champions League      1994

Winner Supercopa de España            1994

Feyenoord

Runner-up       Dutch Supercup          1995

 Netherlands

First place       European Championship        1988

Third place      European Championship        1992

Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman said his Barcelona clause has been delayed until 2021 after the European Championship was postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Barca defender Koeman was in line to take over from Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked and replaced by Quique Setien in January.

Koeman previously revealed his Netherlands contract contains a clause that allows him to depart for Camp Nou following Euro 2020.

With the Euros pushed back 12 months amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Dutchman Koeman addressed his contract.

"The clause in my contract to go to Barcelona is for after the European Championship," Koeman said via Marca.

"No date has been mentioned, so now it's after the European Championship in 2021.

"But I haven't thought about it for a second anyway."

UEFA confirmed the postponement of Euro 2020 on Tuesday, with the competition due to be staged across June and July in 2021.

All other UEFA competitions and matches for clubs and national teams have been put on hold until further notice. 

Netherlands were set to be without star Memphis Depay this year due to a knee injury but Koeman said: "It's a lucky break, but it's a shame that the European Championship won't be played now.

"We qualified at a good level, we were in good shape and we wanted to continue in this vein."

PSV teenager Mohamed Ihattaren has received his first Netherlands senior call-up as part of Ronald Koeman's provisional squad for the scheduled friendlies against the United States and Spain later this month.

Ihattaren, 18, has enjoyed a breakout season in the Eredivisie this term.

Although he has represented the Dutch international side at every age group from Under-15 upwards, he is also eligible to represent Morocco.

Uncapped duo Teun Koopmeiners and Owen Wijndal have also been selected, taking the AZ contingent in Koeman's 30-man party up to five.

Defenders Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Hans Hateboer, midfielder Marten de Roon and forward Justin Kluivert all feature despite playing their club football in Italy, a country which has recently introduced lockdown measures in an attempt to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

Feyenoord midfielder Leroy Fer is back in the international reckoning for the first time since 2014.

Provisional Netherlands squad to face the United States and Spain:

Jasper Cillessen (Valencia), Jeroen Zoet (FC Utrecht), Tim Krul (Norwich City), Marco Bizot (AZ); Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Daley Blind (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij (Internazionale), Owen Wijndal (AZ); Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Leroy Fer (Feyenoord), Mohamed Ihattaren (PSV), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Davy Propper (Brighton & Hove Albion), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kevin Strootman (Olympique Marseille), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool); Ryan Babel (Ajax), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Myron Boadu (AZ), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Justin Kluivert (AS Roma), Quincy Promes (Ajax), Calvin Stengs (AZ) and Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg).

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is positive about Memphis Depay's recovery from a knee injury ahead of Euro 2020.

The Lyon star ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in December, putting him in doubt for the upcoming European Championship.

However, Koeman is upbeat about the 26-year-old's recovery ahead of the tournament in June and July.

"We have regular contact. I went to him in Rome. I know about his recovery," he told a news conference after the draw for the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League was held on Tuesday.

"It looks positive. It's a long way for him still."

Koeman added: "We don't have the certainty he will make the Euros. He has a long way to go.

"Time will tell if he will be fit."

Depay had scored 14 goals and provided two assists in 18 games in all competitions before his injury.

The Netherlands will face Ukraine, Austria and a play-off winner in Group C at the tournament.

Ernesto Valverde has taken Barcelona training amid widespread reports he will meet with the club's board later on Monday.

Despite his side sitting top of LaLiga, the Barcelona head coach is under intense pressure, scrutiny which increased after last week's 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final in Saudi Arabia.

Valverde was pictured taking training as reports in Spain suggested he could lose his position depending on the outcome of talks with the Barca hierarchy.

Barca great Andres Iniesta made an appearance at the session shortly after telling reporters the saga around Valverde had become "ugly", urging respect for his former boss who he felt had seen his position "weakened" by the constant speculation.

Iniesta's former team-mate Xavi, now head coach of Al Sadd, met with the Camp Nou side's director of football Eric Abidal in Qatar on Friday.

But while conceding coaching Barca was his "dream", he did not divulge what was discussed and reiterated his respect for Valverde when he faced reporters after leading Al Sadd into the Qatar Cup final with a win over Al Rayyan.

Reports on Sunday then suggested Xavi had turned down the chance to take charge of Barca immediately.

Ronald Koeman, Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino are the other leading contenders to replace Valverde if the former Athletic Bilbao boss is removed from his role.

While managing Tottenham, Pochettino had insisted he would never contemplate taking charge of Barca due to his ties to his old team Espanyol, though reports claim the five-time European champions are still keen to make an approach.

Valverde took charge in 2017 and won two league titles, the Copa del Rey and a Supercopa crown over his first two seasons.

Barca are due to train on Tuesday before a day off on Wednesday and will next be in action with a Sunday home league contest against Granada.

Andres Iniesta has urged Barcelona to show more respect to head coach Ernesto Valverde following "ugly" reports they are attempting to line up club legend Xavi as his replacement.

Barca are on course for a third successive LaLiga title and remain in the Champions League, but Valverde is under increasing pressure.

Following the 3-2 Supercopa de Espana semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in Jeddah, reports of the board's apparent frustrations with Valverde have escalated.

Strong speculation has claimed club directors used the trip to Saudi Arabia to open talks with Xavi regarding the possibility of replacing Valverde, but the 39-year-old – who is in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd – is said to have told them he is only willing to take over at the end of the season.

Barca have not confirmed the stories, but they do not sit easy with Iniesta, who spent a season playing under Valverde at Camp Nou.

"What comes to my mind a little, if all this is so, is that the way everything is being done is a bit ugly," he told Onda Cero.

"I think that there should always be respect for the coach. The boss' situation and position has been left very weakened.

"My relationship with the boss is very good. During the year we have been talking sometimes. Really, beyond whether we like the coach or not, I think the situation is not pleasant for anyone: the coach, the team or the fans."

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino have been mentioned as potential alternatives to Xavi if he decides he is not ready to return to Barca.

But Iniesta opted against outright backing anyone, suggesting Xavi and Koeman have positives and drawbacks.

"There is a case for everyone," Iniesta added. "In the case of Pep Guardiola, who was at Barca B and then he took over the first team, the one who knows [the team and club] best is Xavi.

"He will have analysed all the variables that there can be and let's see what happens, but Koeman has a lot of experience as a coach and Xavi is starting out now.

"But a lot of times, experience counts for nothing. Both of them have been at Barca and know the club."

Barcelona appear ready to turn to their next coaching target as the LaLiga giants eye Mauricio Pochettino.

Ernesto Valverde is under enormous pressure after the Supercopa de Espana semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid, but Xavi has reportedly turned down the job – for now.

Amid contrasting reports over Barca's next decision, they may be lining up a move for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA CONTACT POCHETTINO OVER COACHING JOB

Barcelona contacted former Tottenham manager Pochettino to be their next boss, according to RAC1.

It comes as widespread reports in Spain say Al Sadd boss and former Barcelona star Xavi turned down the position.

Meanwhile, Catalunya Radio reported Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman also rejected the opportunity.

After a meeting on Sunday, Barca decided to stick with Valverde for now, according to Sport.

ROUND-UP

- Amid reports Manchester United had agreed to terms with Bruno Fernandes, the Mirror says the Premier League club are set to bid £65million (€76.1m) for the Sporting CP midfielder this week.

- Tottenham are set to sign Benfica's Gedson Fernandes as further details about a possible move emerge. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports Spurs will sign the Portugal international on loan with an option to buy for between £42.7m (€50m) and £51.2m (€60m) in 2021.

- Jerome Boateng continues to be linked with a Bayern Munich exit. Milan are ready to challenge Arsenal for the defender, according to Sky Germany.

- Coming out of contract at season's end, it appears Layvin Kurzawa's future is away from Paris Saint-Germain. L'Equipe reports the left-back – who has made just five Ligue 1 starts this campaign – recently rejected Inter but the Serie A club remain hopeful of signing the 27-year-old this month.

- Juventus are looking to the future. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A champions are keeping an eye on teenage Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and AZ forward Calvin Stengs.

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