After a humiliating exit from the Uefa Champions League (UCL) in the hands of Bayern Munich, radical changes were expected at FC Barcelona. And the first one was obvious that manager Quique Setien will be shown the exit.
Multiple reports have suggested that Setien has already been informed that he is no longer the Barcelona manager. Barcelona's primary list to replace the Spanish manager was Mauricio Pochettino, Xavi Hernandez and Ronald Koeman.
And according to various sources across Europe, Ronald Koeman, the former FC Barcelona defender and the current Netherlands manager, will be the one to take up the position left vacant by Setien as Xavi has denied joining the club right now whereas Pochettino, with a strong Espanyol background, has little confidence from the board.
The 57-year old Dutch was a crucial member of Johan Cruyff's dream team at the Catalan Club as he made 254 appearances for the club in his six-year stint. He also scored the only goal for Barcelona in the UCL final in 1992. Despite being a defender, Koeman was an expert when it came to set pieces and scored a staggering 83 goals for the Blaugranas. Alongside the UCL title, Koeman won four consecutive La Liga titles during his playing days for Barcelona.
He also played for clubs such as Ajax, Feynoord, PSV Eindhoven and FC Gronigen, winning another UCL with Ajax.
Koeman's coaching career started with the Dutch national team when he was appointed as the assistant manager in 1997. He left a year later to join as Louis Van Gaal's assistant at Barcelona. His first managerial job was when he was appointed as the manager of Vitesse.
In his managerial career, Koeman has managed Ajax, Benfica, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, Southampton and Everton. He has won three league titles in the Netherlands with Ajax and Feyenoord whereas he won the Spanish Cup with Valencia.
Koeman also guided Southampton to a sixth-placed finish in 2015-16, their best-ever finish in a Premier League season since 1984-85. But he could not reciprocate his heroics at Everton and that led to him being sacked.
But his time with the Netherlands national side showed his prowess as a manager as he managed to make them a side for all Europe to fear, defeating Germany at their own den.
Barcelona, who are going through a tumultuous phase, will look forward to one of their former legends to bring back the balance. But Koeman's arrival also seems odd considering that the European Championships are less than a year away and the World Cup a year after. It becomes weirder as it seems that Xavi or Pep Guardiola are preferred to him by one of Barcelona's presidential candidates, Victor Font, who is currently the frontrunner for the elections in 2021.
With rumours of skipper Lionel Messi willing to leave, Barcelona are desperate to do anything to keep him. Koeman might just be a choice out of their desperation and the people at the club will surely keep their fingers crossed for him to work out.