Barcelona are reportedly considering former Everton boss Roberto Martinez as a viable option to take over from Ernesto Valverde.
As per reports from Spanish outlet Don Balon, Barcelona are pondering over the possibility of letting go of Ernesto Valverde and are eyeing Belgium national team manager Roberto Martinez as a replacement candidate.
Barcelona named Valverde as their manager only a year ago, but his appointment hasn’t been well received by a number of senior figures at the club, while the fans too haven’t exactly warmed up to the former Athletic Bilbao boss. However, the board were happy as long as the results were going their way, as the 54-year led the Blaugrana too a La Liga and Copa Del Rey double in his debut campaign.
The focus heading into the new season was on bringing back European glory to Camp Nou, but the way things have started in the league, the Catalans are believed to be growing doubtful if Valverde is the right man to lead the club back to the summit in the continent.
Having started the defence of their La Liga title strongly, Barcelona are without a victory in their last three matches over the past week. Following a 2-2 draw against Girona last weekend, Barca were defeated 2-1 by Leganes, before Valverde’s former club, Athletic Bilbao, held them to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Valverde’s defensive style of management has drawn a lot of flak from a large section of the club’s supporters, while his team selection and rotation policy hasn’t always been convincing either. The 54-year old decided to bench captain Lionel Messi against his former employers at the weekend, which didn’t go down too well.
The Argentine himself, along with fellow South American stars Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, is understood to have grown disillusioned under the 54-year old and has backed the club’s choice of Roberto Martinez as a potential replacement.
Martinez grew into prominence in England during his time with Swansea City and Wigan Athletic, which earned him a big move to Everton. Things didn’t go all that well for the Spaniard in Merseyside, but he has managed to salvage his reputation since taking over the reins of the Belgium national team in August 2016.
Under the 45-year old, the Red Devils made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and finished third in the premier footballing event in Russia. The Spaniard has enjoyed an exceptional win percentage of 75.9 with Belgium, having led the team to victories on 22 occasions out of the 29 games he has managed (5D, 2L).
Martinez’s teams are known for playing fluid, attacking football which is what Barcelona are believed to be looking for, having grown unhappy with how the team has been playing under Valverde of late.
Barcelona are set to take on Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night and a poor result at Wembley could prove to be the tipping point in Valverde’s future at Camp Nou.