Barcelona’s struggles to appoint Xavi may open door for Cocu or Van Bronckhorst

Catalan giants not proving an attractive proposition, with president Joan Laporta short of quality long-term options to replace dead-man-walking Ronald Koeman.

Barcelona are pushing to appoint former star Xavi as the successor to Ronald Koeman, but they are struggling to persuade him to make the move.

Such are the issues that remain with the Catalan giants both on and off the field, it is making life difficult for president Joan Laporta to merely appoint a new boss.

Barca's hierarchy had already decided to remove Koeman before the midweek Champions League humbling by Benfica.

Barcelona play La Liga champions Atletico Madrid at the weekend, and while Laporta would like a new boss in place before then, it does not look like happening.

Planet Sport Bet lists Xavi as firm favourite at 5/4, but he is not odds-on which is a clear sign of Laporta and Barca's struggles to find a new boss.

Xavi is currently with Qatarian club Al-Sadd, who he took charge of in 2019 after finishing his playing career with them.

Laporta and his fellow directors do have other names on their list to replace Koeman, but like with Xavi, an appointment is not easy.

The contenders to replace Koeman

Andrea Pirlo Juventus May21

The main names linked are Belgium boss Roberto Martinez - who is among the favourites at 7/1, River Plate's Marcelo Gallardo who is priced at 8/1 and current sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff who can be backed at 12/1. Martinez and Gallardo are yet to confirm their desire to take the job, while Cruyff is understood to have told Laporta he would rather remain in an upstairs role.

Former Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo has fans within Camp Nou, hence his price at 4/1 while probably the biggest name available on the market is Antonio Conte, who left Italian champions Inter Milan in the summer, at 10/1.

Another person of interest to Laporta is Leicester's Brendan Rodgers at 12/1 - but it could be this market is decided by an interim coach, as if someone takes charge for 10 games they will be paid out on.

With that in mind, former Barca midfielders Phillip Cocu and Giovanni van Bronckhorst could be particularly relevant. Both are currently available and are priced up in the market at 12/1 and 20/1, respectively.

Phillip Cocu Derby County 2020/21

Cocu was last in management with English side Derby County and is believed to have put himself forward as an option. Former Feyenoord boss Van Bronckhorst is free after a short stint in China and was one of the favourites for the Dutch job before Louis van Gaal was persuaded to take on the role.

Planet Sport Bet spokesperson Mike Grenham admitted the market was wide open, saying: "The favourite is not odds-on, which tells us a lot.

"Barcelona are clearly looking for Ronald Koeman's successor, but as it stands it doesn't look like even they know who it will be. It is a fascinating market and one to keep a close eye on in the coming days."

READ MORE: Race to 10 goals: Salah leads the way but can the Egyptian keep up his fine form?

Latest Soccer Videos