Ernesto Valverde is SACKED by Barcelona despite sitting top of La Liga as little-known Quique Setien takes over on two-and-a-half year deal after Spanish giants were turned down by Xavi

Barcelona have sacked Ernesto Valverde after two-and-a-half years in charge

Spanish giants are top of La Liga and in the last 16 of the Champions League  

There have been doubts about Valverde’s ability to achieve success in Europe

ham man Mauricio Pochettino 

Ernesto Valverde leaves Barcelona's Joan Gamper training ground on Monday afternoon

Barcelona have sacked manager Ernesto Valverde (pictured centre, leaving training on Monday) despite the club sitting top of La Liga at the halfway point of the season, wi Quique Setien (left) the front-runner to succeed him. The shock decision comes in the wake of last week’s Spanish Super Cup semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid, in which Lionel Messi (right) and Co threw away a lead late on to lose 3-2. That result accelerated a move for club legend Xavi to replace Valverde, but after their former midfielder turned down a return to the Nou Camp, they are now poised to appoint Setien, ahead of a potential move for Mauricio Pochettino.


Barcelona have appointed former Watford target Quique Setien as their new coach having sacked Ernesto Valverde.

It’s the first time the club have dismissed a coach mid-season in 17 years and it comes despite Barcelona being top of La Liga. The 61-year-old Setien was linked with Watford at the start of December before they appointed Nigel Pearson.

In a statement the club said it wanted to ‘publicly thank Valverde for his commitment and professionalism’, but having won the previous two Spanish titles many feel he was treated poorly.





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