Barcelona appoint Quique Setien after sacking Ernesto Valverde

Ernesto Valverde could be on his way out of the Nou Camp

Quique Setien will take over as manager of Barcelona.

Spanish champions Barcelona have sacked their coach Ernesto Valverde and appointed Quique Setien as his replacement, the club announced on Monday.

"I respect Barcelona, I respect Valverde and I respect my club and I'm doing my job here", Xavi said on Saturday.

National football team coach Ronald Koeman has reportedly dismissed speculation that he could quit before the summer to take over at his former club Barcelona.

The club called Setien, who will be officially introduced on Tuesday at Camp Nou Stadium, "one of the most experienced coaches in Spanish football".

His team hasn't been able to show consistency in the Champions League due to defense woes, and those problems were again evident on Thursday when Barcelona conceded two late goals to lose to Atletico Madrid, 3-2 in Saudi Arabia. Qatari club Al-Sadd - where he now coaches - said the Spanish club was negotiating with the Spain great.

Bartomeu then drove to Camp Nou, where he held a board meeting with several club officials including chief executive Oscar Grau, technical secretary Javier Bordas, vice president Jordi Cardoner and sporting director Eric Abidal.

But Barcelona is different, it views success through a different prism, which is why the future of coach Ernesto Valverde is uncertain, according to numerous reports.

Setien, 61, coached Real Betis last season but left by mutual consent after leading the club to a 10th-place finish. It was humiliated at Liverpool 4-0 after winning the first leg 3-0 in the semifinals last season, and the previous year it squandered a 4-1 first-leg lead against Roma in the quarterfinals.

They also lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia, finishing the season with "just" the league title and a relatively unflashy style of play which many fans - and some board members - have railed against.

Valverde received support from Lionel Messi and other players in the squad recently.

Barcelona lead the standings on 40 points, ahead of second-placed Real Madrid on goal difference. It hasn't won the European competition since 2015.

Setien will be presented today, with his debut game at home against Granada on Sunday in La Liga.



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