LAUDRUP LINKED TO BARCA
According to Barcelona legend Carlos Rexach the favourites for the next Barcelona manager are Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup and Ernest Valverde. Pep Guardiola has announced his decision to leave the Catalans at the end of the season and he will leave one of the biggest vacancies in recent footballing history.
Rexach believes that now that Guardiola has announced he is leaving the only real option is to appoint someone who is familiar with the way the club is run.
“Guardiola’s replacement should be someone who is part of the Barcelona family or someone who knows the club very well.” He has gone on the record as saying. He has pointed out the trio of Koeman, Laudrup and Valverde as being the best men to take over in the short term, describing the trio as “waiting for the chance to take over at Barcelona”.
He has also pointed to the likes of La Pena and Oscar Garcia as the long term targets for Barca.
Of the three immediate targets in Rexach’s opinion Koemand and Valverde are under contract at Feyenoord and Olympiacos respectively with Laudrup currently a free agent, and perhaps an easier approach, having left Mallorca earlier in the season.
With Barca having missed out on the league and Champions League this season the pressure will be on whichever candidate does get the job to instantly bring trophies back to the Nou Camp. Barca’s last chance of a trophy this season will come in the form of the Copa Del Rey final in late May and with it now confirmed to be Guardiola’s final game as Barca manager it is sure to be an emotional occasion with Barca and Guardiola determined to end this huge era in the club’s history on a high, albeit not the level of high they would have been hoping for a couple of weeks ago.