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Mauricio Pochettino ‘is Barcelona’s main target to replace Quique Setien’

Mauricio Pochettino is now the main candidate to replace Quique Setien at Barcelona, according to reports.

Setien could only watch on as his Barca side suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final and the club look ready to sack him. 

And according to Catalan Radio station RAC1, former Tottenham manager Pochettino is top of the list to takeover after having dinner with club president Josep Bartomeu earlier this week.

Pochettino has been linked with a string of high profile jobs since he was sacked by Spurs in November.

As a former Espanyol player and coach, the manager has previously distanced himself from working for the Catalans due to the rivalry between the two clubs.

The 48-year-old claimed he would ‘rather work on a farm’ than manage Barcelona or Arsenal.

However, Sportsmail reported earlier this month that Pochettino could make a dramatic return to management to join Barca after back-tracking on his original remarks.

He was sounded out for the job in January after Ernesto Valverde was sacked before the role eventually went to Setien.

Club president Bartomeu has a good relationship with the Argentine with the pair in regular contact.

Speaking to El Pais last month, Pochettino reflected on his earlier comments surrounding the Barca job. 

He said: ‘Espanyol is where I made my name but I am not arrogant and I don’t like having made a statement like that on. Perhaps now I would not have said that because in life you never know what will happen.

‘I had seen Bartomeu in a cafe [in 2018] and we greeted each other and chatted for five minutes. That generated a rumour and I wanted to quash the rumour but I did not want to disrespect Barcelona.’

Bartomeu has only one year left as the club’s president and the next manager will know he could be replaced by the person taking on the role in 2021.

Club legend Xavi has already indicated he will only takeover as manager under a new president and board and has recently signed a one-year extension with his current Qatari side Al-Sadd.

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