Exclusive – Barcelona’s presidential election is set to take place on March 7, and will likely spark significant change at a club that has been struggling on and off the pitch in recent years.
Lionel Messi’s future remains up in the air – with interest from the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain set to intensify in the coming months – while Ronald Koeman’s position as manager has been under scrutiny since he took charge.
His future beyond this season is in doubt, with results and performances under his guidance underwhelming to say the least. Barca sit third in La Liga and five points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand, while they will almost certainly be knocked out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain. They also trail 2-0 on aggregate in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font are the three candidates vying to be the new president to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu following his resignation last October, and their chosen replacement for Koeman could follow later this year. Andrew Headspeath‘s overview of the candidates ahead of election day is handy reading.
Barca’s existing internal hierarchy have however continued to run the club in the absence of a president over the last four months, gathering information on potential candidates to succeed Koeman as head coach should a change be made.
90min understands that current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is a name that has been discussed as a possible option by the Camp Nou officials overseeing the ongoing search. Rodgers already speaks Spanish is seen as one of the best brightest coaches working in the Premier League.
Since taking over at Leicester in February 2019, Rodgers has transformed the Foxes into Champions League contenders. His team ran out of steam last season but they look on course to finish in the top four this time around and are ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool in the table going into this weekend’s meeting with Arsenal.
Rodgers was also one name considered by Manchester City as a potential replacement for Pep Guardiola before he signed a new contract with the Premier League leaders in November 2020.
48-year-old Rodgers spent time travelling around Spain and studying coaching at the start of his career and landed a job as head of Chelsea’s youth academy after being recommended to Jose Mourinho in 2004.
The Northern Irishman has an established track record of developing players and previously also took Liverpool to within a whisker of the Premier League title in 2013/14.