Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc is fast emerging as a possible option to replace Quique Setien as Barcelona coach.
The 61-year-old has only been in the job for six months but has already come under pressure after seeing his side miss out on the league title to rivals Real Madrid.
Lluis Miguelsanz at Sport reports that Blanc’s “stock is rising within minds at Barca” because he ticks a lot of boxes that the club are currently looking for in a manager.
Barca are basically looking for a coach to come in for just one season as they plan to hand club legend Xavi the role next summer after the next presidential elections.
Blanc is willing to join the club for just a single campaign and is also “convinced he can succeed and earn the opportunity to stay,” according to Miguelsanz.
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Lowdown on Laurent Blanc
The Frenchman enjoyed a successful career as a cultured centre-half and played for a number of top clubs including Barcelona, Premier League giants Manchester United and Serie A side Inter Milan.
He also enjoyed huge success at international level, winning 97 caps for Les Bleus. Blanc was part of the French squad that won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.
Blanc has since turned to management and taken charge of Bordeaux, the French national side, and PSG. The coach won 11 out of 12 titles available during his time at the Parc des Princes but failed to take the club past the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Will Barcelona Sack Setien?
Setien’s future at Barcelona remains unclear. The Catalan giants’ 5-0 win over Alaves on Sunday strengthened his position ahead of the return of the Champions League next month.
The coach has been backed by president Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting director Eric Abidal who feel sacking him before the return of Europe’s top competition “doesn’t make sense,” according to Miguelsanz.
Much may, therefore, depend on how Barcelona fare in the Champions League, and it’s no secret they face a very tough draw. First up the team needs to get past Napoli, with the fixture currently tied at 1-1 after the first leg.
Barcelona are then likely to face a quarter-final against Bayern Munich. The German giants have already done a league and cup double and will provide a huge threat. Striker Robert Lewandowski has scored 53 goals in 41 games in 2019-20 and will fancy taking on a Barcelona side that has looked vulnerable defensively all season.
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