Joan Laporta is aware that certain decisions need be made regarding Ronald Koeman‘s future at Barcelona, and what is clear after the Blaugrana’s 3-0 defeat to Benfica in the Champions League is that the Dutchman is not expected to stay at the club.
The only issue for the Barcelona board at the moment is how and when they will officially part ways with Koeman, who is going to be in charge of the team for the game with Atletico Madrid at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.
For the time being, the frontrunners to replace Koeman are Xavi Hernandez, Andrea Pirlo and Roberto Martinez, but last-minute surprises should not be ruled out.
Laporta has to make a decision based on the club’s sporting project, but the Barcelona president is aware that if he opts for either Pirlo or Martinez and the next coach fails to deliver, fans will turn against him.
Meanwhile, bringing Xavi back to Catalonia is an option backed by many at Barcelona and will not be seen solely as Laporta’s choice. This means that if Xavi fails to revive the team, Joan Laporta won’t be the only person to blame.
Barcelona’s financial struggles aer also an issue, as terminating Koeman’s contract would cost the club around 12 million euros.
The club should still meet the salary cap set by LaLiga if they go ahead with sacking Koeman, and the Dutchman is not expected to give up any of that money due to the way in which he has been treated in the last few months.
Joan Laporta is also contemplating when the perfect time is to replace Koeman, with the game against Atletico coming too soon.
Logic indicates that Barcelona could wait until the international break in order to dismiss Koeman, as the new coach can have two weeks to work with the team ahead of their next fixture.
The main issue, however, is that the assembly of Barcelona’s delegates will take place on October 17, when they will debate crucial financial and general club issues.
The board members did not intend to discuss sporting issues such as Koeman’s potential replacement at the assembly, but Laporta has the opportunity to do so in case he is willing to discuss the matter with the delegates.