Barcelona are starting their search for a new head coach this morning after sacking Ronald Koeman following a 1-0 defeat against Rayo Vallecano.
The Dutchman has been relieved of his duties after 14 months in charge at the Nou Camp, with Barcelona confirming his departure after the 1-0 defeat, which left the Catalan giants in ninth place in La Liga.
Barca are also struggling in the Champions League, having already lost twice in the group stage of the competition, with the defeat against Rayo Vallecano being their third in their last four games, including a loss in the El Clasico with Real Madrid on Sunday.
In a statement, the club said: “FC Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach.
The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano.
Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva.
FC Barcelona wishes to thank him for his service to the club and wishes him all the best in his professional career.”
Attention now turns to who will replace the former Netherlands, Everton and Southampton manager in the hotseat at the Nou Camp, with former Barcelona midfielder Xavi the early favourite.
However, it has been reported in Spain that Joan Laporta is a fan of Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel, who guided the Blues to the Champions League title last season after taking charge in January, and currently has the west London club at the top of the Premier League.
President Laporta had shortlisted club legend Xavi and Andrea Pirlo, while also stating that Tuchel is the manager he ‘likes the most’.
As things stand, Xavi is the odds-on favourite with bookmakers to succeed Koeman at Barcelona, with Belgium boss Roberto Martinez and former Italy international midfielder Andrea Pirlo also thought to be among the early contenders.
Despite being liked by Laporta, Tuchel is not thought to be in the running for the job, as things stand.