Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly one of several managers under consideration to potentially take over at Barcelona.
Current Barca boss Ronald Koeman is due to hold talks with club president Joan Laporta in the coming days with a decision over his future expected ‘imminently’.
Koeman is under pressure after failing to win back the La Liga title this season before he took a swipe at the club’s board over what he felt was a lack of support.
According to Spanish publication Sport, the Dutchman may well consider himself fortunate to still find himself in a job, as many believe he would have been sacked were it not for Barca’s dire financial situation.
As far as he is concerned though, Koeman is not expecting to have his contract at the Camp Nou cut short, and will be in charge again next season.
That said, a report from Mundo Deportivo claims that Laporta is weighing up a number of possible replacements should he opt to relieve Koeman of his duties.
Among them are Gunners boss Arteta, who started his career with Barcelona, coming through the La Masia academy, though failed to make an appearance for their senior team.
Despite Arsenal’s difficult season, the Spaniard is thought to be held in high regard by Barca chiefs, and as a student of Pep Guardiola’s teachings, is someone they are keeping close tabs on.
However, his small amount of experience in the hot seat would work against him if the club were to seek out a new manager.
Other names in the frame include Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag, and Francisco Javier García Pimienta, who is currently in charge of Barca B.
Club legend Xavi – manager of Qatari side Al Sadd – would also be in Laporta’s thinking.
The Barca chief is slowly turning the club’s fortunes around since his re-election for a second stint in office.
An internal audit is still being conducted over their finances, but Laporta managed to secure a loan from an investment bank to help pay the club’s debts, while freeing up some cash to spend.
He is also reportedly in discussions with Jordi Cruyff – son of football and club legend Johan – over a potential backroom role.
Cruyff is at present the manager of Chinese Super League side Shenzhen FC, but ESPN claim he has a clause in his contract which would allow him to return to Barcelona if offered the role of sporting director.