Revealed – Barcelona’s three-man shortlist to replace Ernesto Valverde if he gets the sack


Barcelona Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona
SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 25: Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona looks on during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Barcelona and Valencia at Estadio Benito Villamarin on May 25, 2019 in Seville, . (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Despite sitting at the top of their Champions League group and La Liga, Barcelona’s recent performances have increased the heat on their manager.

Barcelona have identified Erik Ten Hag, Ronald Koeman, and Marcelo Gallardo as the perfect replacements of manager Ernesto Valverde, as per Fox Sports.

The Catalan side are currently sitting at the top of their Champions League group and on the La Liga table but their gameplay and recent performances have increased the heat on Valverde.

However, the report further claims that the club has no intention of immediately parting their ways with the Spanish manager, who they want to give more time to impress the side’s restive fan base.

That won’t soothe the nerves of Valverde who must be aware of the news doing the rounds in Spanish media, questioning the utility of the former Valencia manager to the Barca side.

Ten Hag is the biggest draw for Barca

Ajax trainer / coach Erik ten Hag during the Dutch Eredivisie match between PEC Zwolle and Ajax Amsterdam at the MAC3Park stadium on November 01, 2019 in Zwolle, The Netherlands Dutch Eredivisie 2019/2020 xVIxANPxSportx/xHenryxDijkmanxFotografiexIVx PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY 400826299
Of the three names that the club would reportedly turn to if they decide to sack Valverde, Ten Hag is perhaps the biggest draw for the club’s faithful.

The Dutch manager has proved his pedigree by coaching Ajax to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season and was only three minutes away from making the final.

Another reason why Ten Hag’s potential appointment would be welcomed by Barca fans is the fact that he knows the club’s playing style, having previously worked under former manager Pep Guardiola.

The way the 49-year-old sets out his teams to play – a higher defensive line, more pressing and fluent passing between the opposition ranks – is one more area which makes him the perfect candidate for the Camp Nou job.

However, Barca may have to wait until the end of the season if they are to secure his services as Ten Hag has only recently claimed that he doesn’t see himself leaving Ajax before the end of the current season.

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Why the pressure is increasing on Valverde?

Ernesto Valverde
EIBAR, SPAIN - MAY 19: Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona looks on prior to the start the La Liga match betweenduring the La Liga match between SD Eibar and FC Barcelona at Ipurua Municipal Stadium on May 19, 2019 in Eibar, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Amid reports that Barcelona are already lining up his replacements if the team’s gameplay doesn’t improve, Ernesto Valverde has every right to ask why his job is on the line.

Despite having an underwhelming start to the new season, Valverde has managed to put Barca back on track, as evidenced by the club’s position in both the La Liga table as well as their Champions League group which consists heavyweights like Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan.

However, as the former Celta Vigo manager might have learned by now, Barca are literally more than a club, with both the supporters and the higher-ups feel entitled to a brand of play which not only secures wins but also entertains the watchers.

Perhaps that’s the only area where Valverde has come up short with his coaching, as suggested by the lackluster 0-0 draw his team played with Slavia Prague during the week. Despite winning games left, right, and center, the fluent attacking play of the years gone by is nowhere to be seen in this Barca side.

Hence the reason why the heat is on the 55-year-old who has never been the favorite choice of the majority of the club’s fans ever since he was given the job in 2017. And that might be the reason why, even with results going his team’s way, Barca might decide to say goodbye to Valverde after the culmination of the current campaign.

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