Barcelona have appointed Quique Setien as their new coach following the sacking of Ernesto Valverde and after failing to persuade their former player Xavi Hernandez to take over.
Setien, the former Real Betis coach, is known for his attractive, attacking football with Barcelona having grown tired of Valverde’s approach even though the club is again top of La Liga and won its Champions League group.
Setien, 61, led Betis to wins over Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid last season but lost his job after a downturn in form. However his exciting, attacking style of football is regarded as more in keeping with what Barcelona want while the Spaniard’s ready availability means that the club felt able to make a change.
Valverde’s dismissal is the first time that Barcelona have sacked a coach in the middle of a season since Louis Van Gaal in 2003 when they were 20 points behind the league leaders and eventually finished sixth.
Even though Setien has got the job Barcelona did first approach Xavi with director of football Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau having flown to Qatar to try and persuade the feted former midfielder to take over. Xavi is currently in his first coaching role with Qatari champions al-Sadd and although they are struggling he does not want to leave right now.