Many suspected that Quique Setien was merely a placeholder at Barcelona after Ernesto Valverde’s position became untenable, and that’s starting to become clear.
Barca could only draw 2-2 with Celta last night to gift Real Madrid the chance to go clear at the top of La Liga, and a report from Record has indicated the players have stopped trusting the coach.
They also claim that Barca are looking to try and entice Pep Guardiola back to the club, but that might not be a wise move on his part.
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Pep is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the world, but he’s also had everything at his disposal to give him everything he wants in his squad, and that’s no longer the case at Barca.
He would inherit a squad full of ageing players, with only Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati who look like they could be long term options for a top class side.
Everyone else will need to be replaced soon, but it really doesn’t sound like Barca have the money to make the sweeping changes that he would want.
On top of that, there’s a lack of young players who look ready for first team action, so it doesn’t look like it’s set up for Pep to work his magic at all.
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It’s always possible that his ego might lead him to believe he can turn the existing team into world beaters again for two or three years before disappearing again, but that will only hurt Barcelona in the long term too.
Realistically the club looks set to go from a giant to many barren years like Man United and AC Milan suffered, so the job might not be as enticing as usual.
It’s possible that someone will need to come in as a fall guy – someone who will oversee a period of transition without any real chance of silverware – but Pep is never going to be the man to do that.
The future looks bleak at the Nou Camp, and Pep would be foolish to return just now.