The fallout from Barcelona’s limp end to the La Liga season and their 8-2 Champions League humiliation at the hands of FC Bayern has been quite spectacular.
Head coach Quique Setien, who was the surprise appointment when Ernesto Valverde was potted in January as the Blaugrana sat at the top of La Liga and still in the Champions League, has himself been sacked at the end of a miserable few weeks.
Barca finished five points behind champions Real Madrid and that simply wasn’t good enough for a side which was heavily backed by the La Liga 2020 betting odds for the majority of the season.
Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman is heavily tipped to be the replacement and is rumoured to be inching closer to a two-year deal to manage the club he served so well as a player.
The Dutch boss would be a popular choice with the fans who watched him score 67 goals from 192 appearances between 1989 and 1995 – a phenomenal return for a centre-back.
The former Everton boss has agreed a deal in principle so we could see an announcement before too long.
They desperately need some inspirational leadership at the Camp Nou, and quickly.
Barca players are up for grabs
In the meantime, all but four of Barca’s first team squad have been put up for sale. Only skipper and talisman Lionel Messi, keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, midfield man Frenkie de Jong and defender Clement Lenglet have been retained.
If those four had lined up on their own against FC Bayern, they may not have done much worse!
There won’t be a shortage of suitors for Barca’s embarrassed stars, and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be preparing a bid for battling midfield star Arturo Vidal.
The Chilean destroyer is entering the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou and intended to stay in Catalonia, but his plans may have quickly changed and he’d be a good fit for the ambitious PSG.
The French champions have a Champions League semifinal date with Red Bull Leipzig on Wednesday night and Brazilian striker Neymar is likely to play a big part, but there are already whispers circulating that he may be tempted back to Barcelona as the first part of the Camp Nou rebuild.
He’d make a quick impact in Catalonia that’s for sure, and talk of an Antoine Griezmann plus his £50-M deal may not be wide of the mark. The French striker has been a flop in his first season with the Blaugrana and he may head home for some comfort and love.
Once he’s in the hot seat, Koeman may well try to sign his countryman and Manchester United target Donny van de Beek from Ajax. The 23-year-old midfield star would be an ideal fit for Barca as they try to replace an ageing squad.
Silva is back
Former Valencia star David Silva has returned to La Liga, having signed a two-year deal to join Real Sociedad.
The 34-year-old attacking midfielder has enjoyed an illustrious 10-year stint at Manchester City where he won four Premier League and two FA Cup medals.
With 125 caps for his country, Silva is one of Spain’s most decorated players and he’ll be a box office draw when fans make it back into the stadiums. And he is sure to make some La Liga 2020 news in the coming weeks.
It’s a great signing for Sociedad who have captured Silva’s signature from under the noses of Serie A club Lazio.
Real Madrid still wondering on what to do with Gareth Bale
Meanwhile, La Liga champions Real Madrid have allowed Brazilian midfielder Reiner to go to Borussia Dortmund on a two-year loan deal.
Los Blancos signed him in January for £25-M but he is unable to play in the first team as La Liga rules mean only three non-EU players can be registered for the league squad.
With the UK’s impending departure from the EU in mind, does that mean the Madrid giants will be tempted to move on Welsh wide man Gareth Bale to make some room?
Here at SBOBET last summer, we covered the saga of Bale’s move to China which never actually materialised. Is the drama about to begin again?
Bale was left out of Real Madrid’s Champions League squad when they played Manchester City and that seemed to signal the end of the road for the big winger. But Reiner’s move to the Signal Iduna Park might just mean he stays in Madrid for one more season.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.