Setien has a break clause in his contract that allows Barcelona to terminate his contract next summer.
Setien replaced Valverde as Barcelona manager late on Monday evening, signing a deal running through till 2022. The former Real Betis coach, however, might not make it to the end of his contract, according to ESPN. The 61-year-old has a clause in his contract that allows Barcelona to terminate his contract at the end of each season. The clause would allow the Catalan giants to pursue alternative targets as early as next summer.
Setien was appointed shortly after the Blaugrana’s defeat to Atletico Madrid in their semi-finals in the Spanish Super Cup. He did a great job with Real Betis but there was no earlier suggestion of him taking over from Valverde. Barcelona reportedly offered club legend, Xavi Hernandez, the same two-and-a-half-year deal which was eventually handed to Setién. Xavi rejected the offer but is still hopeful of sealing a return to Camp Nou in the future.
The clause in Setien’s contract means that Barcelona could put that plan into action with ease. Setien’s spell with the Catalan Giants will be measured by the Bhalugrana’s performance in the Champions League. Barcelona are currently level with Real Madrid on points at the top of the La Liga table. The Catalan club will face Serie A side Napoli in the Round of 16 stages of the Champions League.
Xavi and Koeman reportedly refused to take over as Barcelona coach in the middle of the season.
Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has a similar clause in his contract that allows him to move to Barcelona in 2020. Koeman, however, refused to join the Catalan Giants in the Camp Nou dugout in the middle of the season. The former Blaugrana defender reportedly did not want to miss out on leading Netherlands in the upcoming European Championships. The deal with Setien allows Barca plenty of freedom to pursue their desired managerial candidates.
Xavi was also not comfortable with the manner in which the Blaugrana approached him with Valverde still in charge. The 39-year-old was reportedly the club’s first choice for the job but refused due to his commitment to Al Sadd. Xavi, however, is still in line to take over ahead of the next campaign. Setién instead will take charge to try and lead Barcelona to the La Liga title. The former Real Betis coach’s appointment, however, starts to look more like a short-term interim appointment than a long-term option.
Barcelona parted ways with Ernesto Valverde following a series of poor performances from the Catalans. The Spaniard did well in the domestic circuit winning two La Liga and a Copa Del Ray title with Barcelona. Valverde faced criticism from several fronts following Barcelona’s 4-0 drubbing to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final last season. Barcelona’s loss against Atletico Madrid was the final nail in the coffin for the manager.