Report | Barcelona prepare shortlist of managers to replace Ernesto Valverde
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has a contract with the club till 2021 and the club is unwilling to tie him down to a longer contract. The Barcelona board have prepared a list of candidates to replace Valverde consisting of Mark Van Bommel, Ronald Koeman, Philip Cocu and Thiago Motta.
The Barcelona board including President Josep Maria Bartomeu have shortlisted 4 candidates to replace Ernesto Valverde at the helm once Valverde’s contract runs out. The board members want to bring a coach that had been part of the Barcelona system before. The list contains the names of Thiago Motta, Mark Van Bommel, Philip Cocu and Ronald Koeman, according to le10 sport. Le10 Sport further reported that among the 4 candidates, Koeman remains the majority favourite to lead the succession post-Valverde.
Ernesto Valverde assumed charge of Barcelona in 2017 after Luis Enrique stepped down as the head coach. Initially, Valverde did some excellent work despite losing one of the biggest stars Neymar to PSG. The former Athletic Bilbao boss tightened the defence and helped Barcelona cope the loss of Neymar by installing a new 4-4-2 system. However, last season got really bad when Barcelona failed to protect a 3-0 lead over Liverpool and lost the second leg 4-0 in the semi final of the UEFA Champions League.
Barcelona also failed to win the Copa Del Rey and questions were raised with fans demanding Valverde’s sacking. But Bartomeu said that he won’t make any panic decisions and is ready to stick with Valverde for the time being despite the various issues. Le10 Sport further added that if Valverde fails to make it big in the Champions League this time, he may face the sack before the start of next season. In that case, one of the shortlisted candidates will assume charge next season.
Thiago Motta, who spent 8 years at Barcelona recently assumed the role of main manager for Genoa after working as the coach of PSG’s under 19 side for more than a year. He knows the Barcelona DNA and can be a strong option in the future but it remains to be seen how well can he do with Genoa. Mark Van Bommel, the current PSV coach has a good record to boast as he has won 42 out of 65 games he’s managed for the dutch side.
Philip Cocu who currently manages Derby County had spent 6 years at Barcelona and was there during the time Frank Rijkaard created one of the top teams in Football. Despite Cocu, Motta and Van Bommel, Ronald Koeman, the current Netherlands boss, remains the favourite to take the job. It was recently revealed that the Dutch had put a clause in his Netherlands contract which would allow Barcelona to take him by paying out a buy-out clause. Koeman has always expressed his desire to manage Barcelona and soon his dreams might come true.