Barcelona are perilously close to cutting ties with manager Ronald Koeman and have ambitiously added Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp to their list of potential alternatives – according to the Catalan press.
Koeman is not expected to have his job after the upcoming international break, having overseen a miserable start to the season which has included Champions League humiliation and a run of just one win in their last five games.
Those in charge at Camp Nou have been looking for potential replacements for Koeman, with the likes of Xavi Hernandez and Roberto Martinez regularly named as likely targets, but El Nacional have gone a little wild and named Klopp as a dream candidate.
As the story goes, president Joan Laporta is a huge admirer of Klopp and is pushing to move the Liverpool boss to the top of Barcelona’s wish list.
Laporta has been tipped to move for Klopp for a while now, but for obvious reasons, a deal has not been possible and those same obstacles are going to prevent it from happening this time as well.
Klopp has flirted with the idea of taking time away from Liverpool in the future, but given he still has three years remaining on his contract, he’s clearly not interested in leaving now and Liverpool would demand an absolute shedload of money to even humour the idea of letting him go at this point.
Any phone call to Liverpool would be laughed off pretty quickly, at which point Barcelona would have to turn to one of the other managers on their shortlist.
Xavi and Martinez are obvious options, but there is a lot of support for Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, who is actually seen as the leading candidate for the role because of his preferred style of play.
Rounding out the five-man list is Jordi Crujff, son of the legendary Johan and current advisor to president Laporta, but there is an acceptance that he is the last choice and would only be pursued if all other doors are closed.
There is obviously a lot of work for Barcelona to do before they find their new manager, so they could do with abandoning their doomed pursuit of Klopp in favour of exploring more plausible options.