After weeks of speculation Barcelona have finally sacked Ronald Koeman, and it’s a club legend who is the strong favourite to succeed him. Mike Norman has the details…
Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez is the 1/9 favourite on the Betfair Sportsbook to become the club’s next manager following Ronald Koeman’s sacking on Wednesday night.
Xavi, who made more than 750 appearances for Barcelona and is one of the club’s most decorated players, is currently in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd but reports suggest that the 41-year-old is keen to return to the Camp Nou and talks are well underway between all parties.
The appointment of Xavi would be immensely popular among the Catalan fans who hold their former midfielder in the highest regard after winning 27 trophies, including eight La Liga titles and the Champions League four times, during his long playing career at the club.
Koeman finally pays the price
Despite operating under strict financial restraints it’s been a matter of if and not when Koeman would be sacked following Barcelona’s poor start to the season.
After suffering back-to-back defeats to Real Madrid on Sunday and Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday night the Catalan club sit ninth in La Liga, six points behind the leaders, and they face a struggle to qualify for the knock-out stage of the Champions League after collecting just three points from their opening three matches.
Other big names in the frame
Should Xavi not be the man to succeed Koeman then a list of familiar names can be backed in the Next Permanent Barcelona Manager market.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, who is rumoured to be keen to return to club management after next year’s World Cup, is 17/2 to take over at the Camp Nou, while serial winner Antonio Conte – currently 8/15 to be the next permanent Manchester United boss – is available at 12/1.
1/9 – Xavi Hernandez
17/2 – Roberto Martinez
10/1 – Marcello Gallardo
12/1 – Antonio Conte
14/1 – Oscar Garcia
14/1 – Ralf Rangnick
16/1 – Erik Ten Haag
19/1 – BAR