Josep Maria Bartomeu wasted little time in outlining his ambition for Barcelona under Quique Setien, and hopes his decision to part with Ernesto Valverde will result in a treble this season.
Valverde was sacked late Monday after a prolonged period of uncertainty following the Supercopa de Espana defeat to Atletico Madrid last week.
Barca board members sounded out former midfielder Xavi while there were widespread reports that Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman and Massimiliano Allegri were also high on Barca’s wish-list.
They instead settled on Setien, handing the former Real Betis boss a contract until 2022 – although there is a break clause in 2021 due to club elections – and Bartomeu made clear he is hoping for instant results.
Speaking at Setien’s presentation on Tuesday, the Barca president said: “The dynamic of the team could be improved. We are in the next round of the Champions League and the Copa is getting started but we felt the dynamic could be improved.
“We spoke about this many times with Valverde, very openly with him and we have always been very close to Ernesto Valverde with a good relationship and have always spoken about what could be improved.
“With this momentum and with this new dynamic we aspire to win LaLiga, the Champions League and the cup.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 14, 2020
Bartomeu admitted Barca had spoken to other coaches but insisted the repeated links had not come from the club themselves, adding: “Over the last weeks and months we have talked with other coaches to discuss the future. It is our obligation.
“We spoke to other coaches but we did not publish this information.”
Setien is a renowned disciple of former Barca player and coach – and the man credited with the club’s philosophy – Johan Cruyff and took charge of training for the first time on Tuesday.
His first game at the helm will be on Sunday when Granada visit Camp Nou.
Bartomeu said: “We all know Setien is a huge fan of Johan Cruyff’s style and we share the same objectives.”
Barca sporting director Eric Abidal was also thrilled to have Setien on board.
The former France defender said: “To have him here is a great joy for us. He’s a coach who has shown through the teams that he has had that he has great skills.
“What I like most is the communication he has with his players, his way of working, his way of coaching.
“He is always focused on details. To compete at the highest level, the details are very important, whether it’s in the league, the cup or the Champions League.”
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