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Ex-Everton boss mooted as shock candidate for Ronald Koeman replacement

Ex-Everton boss mooted as shock candidate for Ronald Koeman replacement

Koeman position nearing untenable as sack looms

Despite still being undefeated in the opening weeks of the 2021-22 La Liga season, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is already under fire from his critics and large swaths of the Blaugrana fanbase after the Catalan giants already trail bitter rivals Real Madrid by five points.

Though Barça do maintain a match in hand over the capital outfit, a frustrating 1-1 draw at home against bottom-third side Grenada yesterday evening compounded a less than ideal situation this season in the wake of Lionel Messi’s departure as well as massive financial concerns.

The current situation at the Camp Nou is quickly barreling towards the former Dutch icon to be faced with the sack as Barcelona not only struggle to perform, but are dealing with questions surrounding their identity.

As things stand, the club have already begun to sound out potential replacements for the Zaandam-native, and the list is rumored to include the likes of Antonio Conte, and current Ajax Amsterdam boss Erik ten Hag.

Roberto Martinez on Barcelona short list

In a shock inclusion, current Belgian boss and ex-Everton manager Roberto Martinez has emerged as one of the five predominant names that the club hierarchy are thought to be considering.

Ex-Everton boss mooted as shock candidate for Ronald Koeman replacement

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – MARCH 25: Head coach / Manager of Belgium, Roberto Martinez looks on during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Group H Qualifier match between Belgium and Greece at Stade Roi Baudouis on March 25, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Martinez, who has helped establish Belgium as one of the dominant powers in Europe since taking over at the King Baudouin Stadium in 2016 – which included their best-ever World Cup finish (3rd) at Russia 2018 – is a name that president Joan Laporte is said to be keen on.

Acquiring the former Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, and Everton headmaster will be tricky, however, with Belgium in the thick of their qualification campaign for World Cup 2022 in Qatar that sees them comfortably atop Group E and 9-points ahead of both the Czech Republic and Wales.

Despite his superb record with the Red Devils (50-9-5), a job of the size of Barcelona would be gargantuan in comparison to any other club job he was previously posted.

Certainly, while his record at Everton was credible and included a top-5 finish in his first season at Goodison Park, successive bottom-half performances (11th) in his two other years in charge on Merseyside are hardly Barcelona grade.

As Koeman can attest, club management is a whole other animal to the international game, and there is no telling if Barça – if they were to appoint Martinez – would be angling themselves for a similar mistake.

This article was edited by Ben Browning.