Barcelona set Quique Setien sack condition as Mauricio Pochettino emerges as target
Barcelona manager Quique Setien will be sacked if the club fail to win the Champions League, reports say. And former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is being targeted should his head roll. Barcelona face Napoli in the competition with the tie in the balance after a 1-1 draw in Italy.
Setien was only hired by Barcelona back in January, with the former Real Betis coach replacing Ernesto Valverde at the Nou Camp.
But he’s struggled ever since the move to Catalonia and failed to steer the club to the La Liga title, with Real Madrid reigning supreme instead.
Barcelona face Napoli in the Champions League on Saturday with the tie in the balance after a 1-1 draw in Naples before the coronavirus crisis.
And, should the club fail to win the competition, the Daily Mail say Setien will be sacked.
It’s claimed Barcelona now have their sights on Pochettino, who has been out of work ever since leaving Tottenham back in October.
The Argentina recently backtracked on comments made about the club, having previously insisted he’d never take over.
In January 2018, when he was at Spurs, Pochettino said: “I would never train Barcelona or Arsenal because I am tied to Tottenham.
“I grew up at Newell’s and I would never train Rosario Central.
“This is my decision. I would prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than to go and work in certain places.”
But he recently performed a u-turn, saying: “Espanyol is where I made my name but I am not arrogant and I don’t like having made a statement like that on.
“Perhaps now I would not have said that because in life you never know what will happen.
“I had seen Bartomeu in a cafe [in 2018] and we greeted each other and chatted for five minutes.
“That generated a rumour and I wanted to quash the rumour but I did not want to disrespect Barcelona.”
Barcelona won’t be playing Espanyol in La Liga next season, with the latter succumbing to relegation for the first time in 27 years.
But whether Setien can save his job remains to be seen, with the odds seemingly stacked against him.
Meanwhile, Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal recently called on the club to make a decision on Setien’s future as Pochettino’s shadow hovers in the background.
“With Setien we haven’t been able to work much,” he said.
“The change was abrupt and we have tried to adapt.
“We’re trying to adapt to this situation and when the season finishes, the club must choose its future well.
“They have to decide whether the same coach will stay on, whether they are going to bring in new players, if the same ones are going to continue.”
Barcelona haven’t won the Champions League in 2015, back when Luis Enrique ruled the Nou Camp roost.