Next Barcelona Manager Odds: Five potential replacements for Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman’s position at Barcelona is becoming increasingly untenable with rumours rife that the Dutchman is set to be jettisoned from his hot-seat.
Koeman’s Nou Camp future is bleak following a stuttering start to his second season, with question marks over his style of play and in-game tactics, and let's not forget the tense tit-for-tat relationship with President Joan Laporta.
Barcelona splashed out €6m in order to release Koeman from his Netherlands contrast last summer, and they’d have to dip into their threadbare fund pot in order to get rid of him too. TV3 has reported that the severance payment could even total €12m.
Multiple bookmakers’ have reacted to Monday’s last-gasp 1-1 draw at home to Granada by releasing the next Barcelona manager odds market, so here are five potential replacements for Koeman should he soon exit his post.
Could Barcelona axe one former Everton manager and appoint another former Everton manager?
Well, maybe so, with Roberto Martinez one of the leading contenders in the betting at 7/2 (Bet Victor).
Goal reports that he’s a top-target for Barcelona, and the club could make an approach in the upcoming international break.
The Spaniard, who is from Catalonia, was linked with Tottenham over the summer and is believed to be keen to return to club level soon, having been at the helm of Belgium for the last five years.
Xavi returning to Barcelona as manager is inevitable, but we may have to wait a tad longer for it to come to fruition.
Xavi, who has won six trophies since his appointment at Qatari side Al Sadd in 2019, rejected Barcelona when they came calling in early 2020 following the exit of Ernesto Valverde. He was then hotly linked again last summer when Quique Setien was sacked.
Both times Lionel Messi was at the club.
Fast-forward to the present day and Barcelona no longer have Messi. They are in financial tatters and void of world class stars. Is this really going to attract Xavi?
However, his old mucker Andres Iniesta did have this to say when asked by Sport if this was the right time for Xavi (4/1) to return:
“I think so, yes. If you ask me if I imagine Xavi on the Barca bench. Above all because he’s been preparing and training to coach Barca. He has the confidence to take on this challenge.”
If Barcelona want to appoint a world class, serial winner who just so happens to be available, then Antonio Conte is the go to guy.
There are, however, question marks over his style of play. Conte employs an extremely effective, intense, and pragmatic brand of football, favouring a 3-5-2 formation, which contrasts with Barcelona’s staple 4-3-3 system.
If Barcelona are willing to spice things up and move away from their traditional identity, then Conte represents decent value at 7/1.
But let's not shy away from the fact that the Italian would command a colossal salary and demand cash to splash on new recruits - cash the club don’t have - while his fiery nature would inevitably lead to conflict later down the line.
Erik ten Hag
Many a manager has taken charge of both Ajax and Barcelona, including Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gaal, Rinus Michels, and even incumbent Koeman. Could Erik ten Hag be the latest to double up?
A former colleague of Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, Ten Hag has lifted two Eredivisie titles and a couple of KNVB Cups since taking charge of Ajax in 2017, they also led the table during the 2019/20 season only for the Dutch campaign to be cancelled. Furthermore, who can forget that memorable run to the Champions League semi-finals.
His Ajax side are simply superb to watch. They are very attack-minded, score a plethora of goals - 19 goals in their last three games alone - and play a possession-based, high-tempo, high-intensity brand of football, which would obviously make him an ideal fit at Barcelona (9/1).
Ten Hag caught the eye of Tottenham in the summer, only to then announce he’d signed a new deal at the Johan Cruyff Arena, while this week he played down rumours linking him with Barcelona - as you’d expect considering both himself and Koeman are both employed, he’s not exactly going to issue a come and get me plea.
Definitely one to watch.
If you’re after a juicy outsider then Brendan Rodgers could be your man out at 50/1.
Journalist Gerard Romero reports that Rodgers is one of five managers that Barcelona are considering. The aforementioned Xavi and Conte are on this rumoured shortlist, although it’s worth taking with a pinch of salt as Andrea Pirlo and Phillip Cocu make up the reported quintet.
Rodgers’ has continued to enhance his managerial reputation at Leicester who have achieved consecutive top-five finishes and an FA Cup triumph since the former Celtic boss replaced Claude Puel in 2019.
He stayed loyal to the Foxes in the summer when Tottenham showed interest, and his loyalty could be tested once again in the upcoming weeks.
Other Managers To Consider
High-profile manager markets can often be a lottery, especially in this case when the manager is still in a job.
Barcelona have had a tendency to appoint from within so with that in mind it’s worth keeping an eye on the club’s Academy Manager Albert Capellas Herms (14/1) and B Team boss Sergi Barjuan (20/1), while Pep Guardiola’s former Barcelona assistant Domenec Torrent is available at 14/1.
Elsewhere, Marcelo Bielsa is a 20/1 shot, Guardiola himself looks far too short at the same price, while Ralf Rangnick and Graham Potter are both out at 50/1, as is Julian Nagelsmann but he’s surely out of reach.
You can even find Mikel Arteta in the mix at just 9/1.
Last but not least, Barcelona’s former assistant-turned-nemesis, Jose Mourinho, is 100/1.
Full odds below. Please gamble responsibly.