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27th May 2019

Roberto Martinez emerges as shock favourite to become Barcelona’s next manager

Simon Lloyd

Nope, didn’t see this one coming

Roberto Martinez has emerged as the favourite to become the next manager of Barcelona, reports from Spain have claimed.

Despite retaining their league title, Barcelona’s humiliating collapse at the hands of Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals and their Copa del Rey final loss to Valencia have heaped pressure on current boss Ernesto Valverde, who is expected to depart the Camp Nou this summer.

Radio station RAC1 report that Martinez, who has managed Wigan Athletic and Everton in the Premier League, is the most likely man to be given the Barcelona job when Valverde leaves.

Martinez has been manager of the Belgian national side since 2016, guiding them to a third-place finish at last summer’s World Cup in Russia – their best ever performance at the tournament.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag was linked with the Barca job earlier in the month, as was Real Betis manager Quique Setién and former defender and French World Cup winner, Laurent Blanc.

Ronald Koeman, another former Barcelona player, has also been mentioned in relation to becoming the next manager of the club.

Like Martinez, the Dutchman had an ultimately unsuccessful stint as manager of Everton. He has since returned to his homeland to become the coach of the Netherlands’ national side.