Barca want Martinez to replace Koeman after club's woeful start

Ronald Koeman is still in a job because Barcelona can’t AFFORD to sack him… the Dutchman has four games to turn the tide with Nou Camp board considering Roberto Martinez as the man to replace him

  • Ronald Koeman is clinging on to his job at Barcelona after a woeful start
  • The Dutchman has a tricky four games next month to save his job at the club 
  • But if the crisis on the pitch deepens then the board will be forced to take action
  • Barcelona want Roberto Martinez to succeed Koeman should they sack him
  • President Joan Laporta would still need to raise the finances to make it happen 

Ronald Koeman is clinging on to his job at Barcelona because the club cannot afford to get rid of him. If that situation changes next month then another former Everton coach, Roberto Martinez, is the man the board want to bring in to replace him.

Barcelona cannot sack Koeman without paying out around £10million (€12m) to the 58-year-old coach. This sum includes paying up his contract and a compensation that he had to pay to the Dutch Football Federation when he left that role to take over at the Nou Camp at the start of last season.

Hiring Martinez would please supporters mourning the passing of Barcelona’s distinctive playing style and he is interested in the job, but getting him would involve paying compensation to another international association – this time the Belgium Football Federation.

Ronald Koeman is clinging on to his job at Barcelona because the club can’t afford to sack him

Next month will be key in deciding if Koeman stays in charge. Barcelona are away at Cadiz on Thursday and home to Levante on Sunday. They then face Benfica away in the Champions League and go to Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

If Koeman can navigate a way through those four games keeping the team in contention for Champions League qualification and in the title race, then he is likely to stay in charge with the club grateful to avoid paying out to fire him.

But if the crisis on the pitch deepens then the board will be forced to make a change.

Martinez takes Belgium into the Nations League final four next month. They face France on October 7 and would meet Spain or Italy in the final on October 10. 

But if the crisis on the pitch deepens then the board will be forced to take action 

He will not leave Belgium before those games and his contract runs until after the next World Cup. But it is possible he could walk away from the job before the Qatar finals to take over at the Nou Camp.

Laporta would still need to raise the finances to make it happen and two more dates in October become crucial. Barcelona hold their annual assembly on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of October and the president needs the members to pass his proposed budget.

The club’s statutes mean any president who overseas two years of consecutive losses must step down. But Laporta has presented the accounts for last year in two separate sections: the first period of heavy losses when his predecessor Josep Bartomeu was still in charge; and the second period when he had taken over and recorded a profit.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has emerged as a front runner in any race to replace him

However, Barca president Joan Laporta would still need to raise the finances to make it happen

If members accept this way of presenting the accounts for last season it would free his hand to spend this season and could create the necessary financial wriggle room to pay off Koeman and hire Martinez.

The preference is still to plough on with Koeman at the helm, and hope that the club’s injury list can be reduced sooner rather than later. But the football played in Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Granada was branded ‘from the last century’ by one commentator and another said it now ‘hurt the eyes’ to watch Barcelona play.

The club are struggling to sell out their stadium with only 27,000 watching on Monday night despite Covid regulations allowing for a 40,000 capacity.

Koeman argues that he simply does not have the playing resources to improve the performances and that this may change when Ansu Fati returns at the end of this month along with Pedri and Jordi Alba, and when Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Aguero come back to fitness at the start of November.

Koeman has a tricky four-game run to save his job, in what is make or break for Barcelona

If he can hold on until then he may see out the storm but Martinez has already emerged as a front runner in any race to replace him.

Xavi is not an option. In the past Laporta has been reticent about throwing the club’s former captain into the job so early in his coaching career and Xavi also has huge reservations about taking the job in the current circumstances.

Jordi Cruyff, meanwhile, is currently working at the club with the job title head of global scouting. He has distanced himself from the possibility of replacing Koeman in the past.




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