Barcelona have identified Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp as a potential candidate to replace Ronald Koeman at the helm, according to reports. The latter is under significant pressure after a disappointing start to the campaign and is expected to leave Camp Nou in the coming days.
Barcelona currently sit sixth in La Liga after failing to score maximum points in three of their opening six matches.
They also suffered a humiliating Champions League defeat at the hands of Benfica on Wednesday night, with Koeman now understood to be on a thin sheet of ice behind closed doors.
The Catalan giants failed to significantly improve their squad over the summer due to their precarious financial situation.
They have mostly been forced to rely on free transfers, like Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero among those who recently arrived at Camp Nou.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are still reeling from the shocking departure of Lionel Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract in August.
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The situation is expected to end with Koeman’s untimely departure following his appointment to replace Quique Setien in August of last year.
A number of potential alternatives are reportedly under consideration, and it looks like Barcelona may be considering an ambitious move to keep Klopp away from Liverpool.
The 54-year-old is on the club’s wishlist alongside four other candidates, according to El Nacional.
Barcelona are said to be keen to name Klopp as their new manager and may name a provisional replacement for Koeman before targeting the Liverpool boss next summer.
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However, the La Liga heavyweights could be on the verge of a fight to get the German native through the door.
Klopp is under contract at Liverpool until the summer of 2024 and has already highlighted his desire to see the deal and assess his options when it runs out.
“I have three years left at Liverpool, it’s simple,” he told reporters earlier this year when asked about his future.
“You sign a contract and you stick to it. I stuck to the contracts in Mainz and Dortmund.”
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Meanwhile, Barcelona are said to be keeping an eye on a handful of other management options as well, Koeman is unlikely to retain his current role for long.
Former Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo, club legend Xavi and Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez have all been mentioned in connection with the potential vacancy in recent days.
However, River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo is said to be the favorite and could apparently become Barcelona’s main target in the near future.
Club president Joan Laporta is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks as he seeks to get Barcelona back on track before the end of the season.