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BARCELONA

Barcelona: temporary change of course with Koeman's situation

The coach will remain in charge of Barcelona's next game although he won't be on the bench at the Metropolitano as he will be serving the second half of a ban.

Update:

Ronald Koeman's future at Barcelona has already been decided regardless of what happens in Saturday's league visit to Atlético Madrid. The board of directors, with Joan Laporta at the helm, have already decided that the Dutch coach will not continue, although for now they have held back from handing him his notice to give themselves a little more time to find a replacement.

The fixtures calendar gives Barça some extra time to find the right candidate. The international break will give the club almost two weeks to select and hire Barcelona's next coach, bearing in mind that there are two clear candidates for the job - Xavi Hernández and Robert Martínez, plus another two options who have recently been added to the list - Andrea Pirlo and Marcelo Muñeco Gallardo.

It's also worth noting that Koeman stands to receive around 12 million euros as part of his settlement package - more outgoings to add to the club's already delicate financial situation.

The club however is keen to project an image of calm and serenity, although calling board members to an emergency meeting at 4 o'clock in the morning is not exactly the best way to put the fans' minds at rest.

What does look certain is that Koeman will not oversee another Barça game from the bench. His last game was the 0-3 defeat to Benfica. The red card he was shown in Cádiz for protesting earned him a two-match suspension, the first part of which he served  against Levante with the second part to come this weekend against Atlético. The club decided not to appeal the ban seeing as the Competitions Committee handed the coach the minimum punishment possible.

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