By 90Min
May 08, 2019

Ernesto Valverde has been under pressure at Barcelona for a while now, and Tuesday's abysmal 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool has only made things worse.

Having gone out in similar fashion against Roma last year, many fans have had enough, and they're calling for Valverde's head to roll at Camp Nou.

If the Blaugrana do opt to part ways with him, here are six candidates who could be in line to replace him.

Paulo Fonseca

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Currently the boss of Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, Portuguese tactician Paulo Fonseca has been making waves across Europe for the last few years.

With his 4-2-3-1 formation, Shakhtar have been dominant in Ukraine and, to make things even better, his brand of football has been stunning at times. Midfielders like Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Arturo Vidal would fit perfectly into his system, whilst his three creative midfielders are given complete freedom to terrorise opponents.

Fonseca's side struggled greatly against Manchester City in the Champions League, but they more than held their own against both Hoffenheim and Lyon. With the strength of Barcelona's squad, Fonseca could build a real powerhouse in Barcelona.

Erik ten Hag

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Many's favourite for the job, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has left Europe astounded by his tactics this season.

Setting his team up in a similar mould to Ajax and Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff, Ten Hag's team have dominated the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus with their possession and passing, which is exactly what Barcelona want from their own side.

Given Barcelona have shaped their game around Cruyff's legacy, bringing in Ten Hag could be the perfect solution for everyone involved.


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Marcelino has worked his way up the ranks in La Liga, helping the likes of Sevilla, Villarreal and now Valencia rediscover their identities.

Always operating on a budget, Marcelino has proven his desire to incorporate young players into his setup, which would make him a perfect option for Barcelona and their academy, the famous La Masia.

As expected, the Spaniard loves attacking football, but does not forget about defensive duties. He makes sure his sides are solid at the back, which gives the attacking stars the license to do what they do best. For Lionel Messi and friends, he could be ideal.

Quique Setien

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In La Liga, few managers have generated excitement this season quite like Real Betis' Quique Setien. The 60-year-old has spent years perfecting his preferred style of play, and seems to have it all figured out now.

His side have struggled in the league, but that is through no fault of the manager. He has his side playing a stunning brand of attacking football, dominating possession on their way to causing a few surprises against Spain's big boys in recent years.

Setien is not content with just retaining the ball, as he wants his side to pass their way towards goal. Barcelona want to play with that exact style, and many fans have already began demanding Setien be signed this summer.

Pablo Machin


Currently unemployed after leaving Sevilla in March, Pablo Machin's reputation should not be damaged just because of a run of poor form. He concocted a beautiful style of play with Girona before leaving last summer, which will have caught the eye of Barcelona chiefs.

His players play countless short passes and are always on the move, and Girona managed to score plenty of goals as a result. His 3-4-2-1 formation switches to a 5-2-2-1 when defending, closing down space before unleashing lighting-fast counters.

The Barcelona sides of the past have often utilised something similar, so Machin's name will certainly be thrown around at least once or twice.



With club legend Xavi set to retire at the end of the season, it seems like destiny could come into play and steer the midfielder back to Camp Nou.

He has been working on his coaching badges in recent years with Qatari side Al Sadd, and he obviously knows all about how the club should be playing, having been a vital part of Barcelona's dominance since the turn of the century.

With no experience to his name, it may be too soon for Xavi to take the reins at Camp Nou, but there are few people around who have a better idea of the club's identity than the 39-year-old.

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