Barcelona Eye Marcelo Gallardo as Koeman Replacement

Marcelo Gallardo coach of River Plate looks on during a match between River Plate and Arsenal.(Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)
Marcelo Gallardo coach of River Plate looks on during a match between River Plate and Arsenal.(Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images) /

Following Barcelona’s uncharacteristically poor start to the season, club president Joan Laporta has begun shortlisting options to replace current coach, Ronald Koeman.

In response to the Catalan’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Portuguese club Benfica earlier mid-week, multiple sources including RAC 1 and Marca, have reported that Ronald Koeman’s days at the Spanish giants are nothing if not numbered.

Barcelona is on the search for a new coach

The dawn of the following morning, Laporta held a meeting with a number of board members at the Barcelona offices at 4 AM (CEST), regarding Koeman’s continuity, where they decided that it was time to begin their search for replacements.

Among the shortlist of potential targets, are Xavi Hernández, Andrea Pirlo, Roberto Martínez and recent addition Marcelo Gallardo. It is believed that Laporta’s favored candidate to take over the reins from Koeman is the aforementioned Argentine, Marcelo Gallardo.

The current River Plate manager is hailed as one of the best coaches in South American Football history, boasting one of the most decorated trophy cabinets in world Football; winning the Uruguayan League title, the Copa Argentina, Supercopa Argentina, Copa Sudamericana, Copa Libertadores, Recopa Sudamericana ad the Suruga Bank. A number of those on multiple occasions.

Gallardo a perfect fit for Barcelona

Gallardo and Barcelona could be a match made in heaven, due to his emphasis on balancing the development of youth, with being competitive for titles. In fact, he attends every River Plate academy game, to discover the youth prospects at his disposal with the vision of promoting them to the first team.

The 45-year-old is touted as a versatile coach, excelling at adapting his squad to multiple different playing styles, whether it be fast-paced and high pressing football, or a pragmatic and defensive style, gaining the advantage of the opposition through counter-attacks, akin to José Mourinho’s managerial spell at Real Madrid.

Despite the overwhelming positives, there is one caveat. Gallardo’s current contract with argentine club River Plate expires in December. He has stated that he has every intention of fulfilling that contract, deeming him only a feasible option come January. Therefore clashing with Laporta and the board’s desire to find a replacement in the immediate future.

Thus leaving Laporta with a difficult decision to make; prioritize the long-term betterment of the club, or fulfill the fans desires of the immediate sacking of Ronald Koeman?