Reports stemming from Spain this evening suggest that former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as the front-runner to take the place of under-fire Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde.
Valverde’s Barca are currently in the midst of a poor spell of form.
The Blaugrana have managed just a solitary win from their last 5 outings across all competitions.
Their latest defeat, meanwhile, came on Thursday night, at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
After stuttering to a 2-2 draw with bottom of the table Espanyol in La Liga last weekend, the Catalan giants were subsequently ousted from the Spanish Super Cup by Diego Simeone’s men in spectacular fashion 3 days ago.
Barca had actually taken a 2-goal lead in the clash, and looked well on their way to the competition’s showpiece.
However, a late collapse eventually saw Atleti overturn their deficit, to emerge with a 3-2 victory.
Valverde under the spotlight
As such, on the back of yet another disappointing result, speculation surrounding the future of Ernesto Valverde has inevitably begun to mount.
Despite still sitting joint-top of the La Liga table, and having secured their spot in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Barcelona have looked some way short of their best throughout the campaign.
Large sections of the Spanish champions’ fanbase have long lost patience with their side’s boss, with the majority now seemingly in favour of a change at the helm at the Camp Nou.
And, as per a report from Spanish outlet RAC1 this evening, such supporters could soon have their wishes granted.
This comes amid claims that those in charge at the Camp Nou have identified their no.1 option to replace Ernesto Valverde on the club’s bench.
The tactician in question? Mauricio Pochettino.
Blaugrana legend Xavi is said to have turned down the opportunity to take over the reins at the Camp Nou, as the Spaniard continues to work on his managerial talents in Qatar.
As such, the Barcelona hierarchy have been forced to look elsewhere, with Pochettino now seemingly viewed as ‘the main candidate’.
‼️ NOTÍCIA @EsportsRAC1
— El Barça juga a RAC1 (@FCBRAC1) January 12, 2020
RAC’s report comes despite Pochettino having previously ruled out the possibility of taking over at Barca, due to his Espanyol past.