Patrick Kluivert has emerged as a (very) surprising contender to replace the under-fire Quique Setien at Barcelona, with the players themselves backing the former Netherlands striker.
A spiritless defence of their La Liga title came to a disappointing conclusion in the penultimate round of fixtures, with Barça suffering a humiliating home defeat as Real Madrid stormed their way to a 34th league crown.
Such has been the uproar in Catalonia as the result of a catastrophic few months, calls for Setien to be relieved of his duties a little over 20 matches into his reign have become deafening. Lionel Messi has been outspoken of the club’s failings, and Setien’s position hangs by a thread.
Deportivo suggest the current squad would like club legend Kluivert to take over the role. The Dutchman, who scored 122 goals in 256 games for the club as a player, has been their academy director since July 2019.
Given he is already known in and around the club there will be no need for a bedding in period with the players, nor will he need to adjust to the club’s ethos and model. It’s said that the belief within the squad is that Kluivert can offer them precisely what the likes of Messi demand: ‘intensity and character’.
Having been at the club for over a year now in his most recent role, he has a strong relationship with the Barcelona old guard. Knowing Messi and Gerard Pique personally will aid his cause, as will his know-how of the academy stars; Kluivert is credited with integrating Ansu Fati into the senior setup.
For all the players’ supposed wishes, any decision will come down to president Josep Bartomeu.
Edited by Tiyani wa ka Mabasa