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Barcelona prepare to cut ties with Ernesto Valverde

Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona's worst start to a season in 25 years has Ernesto Valverde feeling the pressure, and reports from Spain suggest his time is basically up at Camp Nou. 

According to Marca, Barca's directors have already decided they don't intend to keep him in the job beyond this season. They also claim that he would have gone in the summer following the Champions League exit to Liverpool, and defeat in the Copa Del Rey Final to Valencia, had a suitable replacement been available. 

The goalless draw in the Champions League against Slavia Prague, which followed a disappointing defeat against Levante in La Liga, has added extra pressure on Valverde despite the team sitting at the top of the table both in Europe and in Spain. 

Criticism has been rife, with Arsene Wenger describing them as "a team in crisis" on beIN Sports this week. There have also been questions around the performances of two of Barca's most high-profile summer signings in Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong. 

The elephant in the room is Netherlands coach and former Barcelona player Ronald Koeman. 

Koeman's last club managerial job at Everton ended in disarray, with the club languishing in the relegation zone despite having spent big in the transfer window. 

He has since rebuilt his reputation in the international sphere, taking Netherlands to the brink of Euro 2020 by getting the best out of their impressive crop of young players.  

However, it has been revealed that a clause exists in his contract with the Dutch football federation that would allow him to leave the role should the Barcelona job become available, but only after Euro 2020. KNVB sporting director Nico Jan Hoogma confirmed as such, saying: "Ronald has always indicated that he wants to be a coach at Barcelona one day."

In clarifying details of the clause, Koeman added that Barcelona was his "dream club", and that he wouldn't leave Netherlands for any other team. 

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