Klopp hails ‘top-class’ Jones after Liverpool's rout of Porto
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Barcelona have identified Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp as a potential candidate to replace Ronald Koeman at the helm, according to reports. The latter is under significant pressure after a disappointing start to the campaign and has been tipped to leave the Nou Camp in the coming days.
Barcelona currently occupy sixth place in La Liga after failing to take maximum points from three of their opening six matches.
They also suffered a humiliating Champions League defeat at the hands of Benfica on Wednesday evening, with Koeman now understood to be on thin ice behind closed doors.
The Catalan giants failed to significantly improve their squad over the summer as a result of their precarious financial situation.
They were mostly forced to rely on free transfers, with the likes of Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero among those to have recently arrived at the Nou Camp.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are still reeling from the shock departure of Lionel Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal back in August.
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The situation looks set to end in Koeman’s untimely departure after he was appointed to replace Quique Setien in August of last year.
A number of potential alternatives are said to be under consideration, and it seems as though Barcelona could be weighing up an ambitious move to prise Klopp away from Liverpool.
The 54-year-old is on the club’s wish list alongside four other candidates, according to El Nacional.
It is said that Barcelona would like to appoint Klopp as their new manager and could appoint a stop-gap replacement for Koeman before targeting the Liverpool boss next summer.
However, the La Liga heavyweights could be poised to struggle in bringing the Germany native through the door.
Klopp is under contract at Liverpool until the summer of 2024 and has previously underlined his desire to see out the deal and assess his options when it runs out.
“I have three years left at Liverpool, it’s simple,” he told reporters earlier this year when quizzed on his future.
“You sign a contract and you stick to it. I stuck to contracts at Mainz and Dortmund.”
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Meanwhile, Barcelona are also understood to be keeping tabs on a handful of other managerial options, with Koeman not expected to retain his current role for long.
Former Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo, club legend Xavi and Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez have all been mentioned in connection with the potential vacancy in recent days.
However, River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo is said to be the frontrunner and could seemingly emerge as Barcelona’s top target in the near future.
Club president Joan Laporta is expected to make a decision over the coming weeks as he looks to steer Barcelona back on track before the end of the season.
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