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Barcelona Close In On Signing Koeman After Sacking Setien

Barcelona is negotiating a deal to appoint Netherlands coach, Ronald Koeman as the successor to Quique Setien, a club source said on Tuesday.

Koeman is dearly loved at Barca for his playing career in Johan Cruyff’s hugely successful side known as the ‘Dream Team.’

He scored the goal that delivered the club’s first-ever European Cup in 1992.

The defender later became the club’s assistant coach before embarking on an eventful career as a head coach, managing Dutch sides Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.

He also managed Premier League sides Southampton and Everton and La Liga’s Valencia.

Spanish and Dutch media also said Barca were in talks with Koeman, who led the Netherlands to qualification for the European Championships, which have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Barcelona Sack Sporting Director Eric Abidal

Barcelona have announced the departure of sporting director Eric Abidal, just one day after sacking head coach Quique Setien.

Abidal, a former Barcelona defender and two-times Champions League winner with the club, had been in the role for over two years.

Setien was relieved of his duties in the wake of Friday’s embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, with Barcelona warning of a “broad restructuring of the first-team”.

The Spanish club acted quickly to agree a deal in principle to bring in Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman to replace Setien.

One of Abdial’s final acts in his role as Barcelona sporting director was to inform Setien of the club’s decision to let him go in a meeting in the days following last week’s elimination from the Champions League.

Barcelona announced the departure in a statement on Tuesday:

“The FC Barcelona and Eric Abidal have reached an agreement for the termination of the contract binding both parties.

“The Club publicly expresses its gratitude to Éric Abidal for the professionalism, commitment, dedication and positive and close treatment that he has always shown towards all the estates that make up the Barça family, and wishes him luck and success in the future.”

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Barcelona Goalkeeper Ter Stegen Out For Over 2 Months After Knee Surgery

Barcelona have confirmed goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has undergone surgery on a knee problem.

The 28-year-old, who has made more than 200 appearances for the club since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2014, went under the knife as a preventative measure after he complained of irritation on his right patellar tendon earlier this season.

Ter Stegen played through the discomfort in order to finish the extended 2019-20 season, but will use the short break before the new campaign to clear up the issue once and for all.

“Based upon the exchange with the medical team, the first-team player Marc ter Stegen will do a voluntary medical intervention tomorrow [Tuesday] on his right patellar tendon conducted by the expert Dr. Ramon Cugat,” read a statement on the club’s website.

“It is a proactive measure which is now done in order to prevent and prepare for the future, since the player had some irritations on the tendon earlier in the season.”

Ter Stegen also confirmed news of his operation on Twitter, saying: “I will undergo an intervention for my knee tendon. The medical experts and I discussed to do this ‘clean-up’ as there were some irritations earlier this season. It’s a proactive intervention in order to prevent and prepare for the future.

“I will need some weeks to recover and to return to 100%. I’m calm and positive about the situation, I will come back soon. Once again, thanks for all the support I’ve been receiving. I appreciate it a lot!”

On Tuesday, Barca confirmed the surgery was a success, releasing a statement which reads: “First team player Marc ter Stegen has had a successful operation on the right knee of the knee by Dr. Ramon Cugat. The approximate time off will be two and a half months.”

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Henry Emerges Candidate To Replace Setien As Barcelona Manager

Former Arsenal captain, Thierry Henry, has emerged one of the candidates to replace Quique Setien as Barcelona manager, according to Sport.

It’s almost certain that Setien would be sacked within the next 48 hours, after the club’s emergency board meeting on Monday.

This follows an embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final on Friday.

Maurici Pochettino is believed to be the leading candidate, but his affiliation with Barcelona’s local rivals, Espanyol means he is not a unanimous choice.

Ronald Koeman, a former Barca player is under consideration, as is Max Allegri who has enjoyed a one-year sabbatical after leaving Juventus last summer.

However, Henry has now been added to the list.

The Frenchman endured a wretched start to his managerial career as he was sacked after just six months with Monaco and is currently the head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact.