MADRID: Ronald Koeman was sacked as Barcelona coach, the club announced shortly after a defeat to Rayo Vallecano left them ninth in La Liga.
Barca have won just two of their last seven league games under Koeman, a string of matches that saw them also lose at the hands of Real Madrid in the Clasico at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
Poor performances at the start of the season increase the chances of the team failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League which in turn has a huge impact on the club’s already dire financial situation.
Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who now heads Qatari club Al Sadd as well as River Plate manager Marcel Gallardo are reportedly among the candidates to take over the job.
A club statement announced after midnight in Spain stated: “FC Barcelona sacked Ronald Koeman from the post of first team coach tonight.
“Club president Joan Laporta has already told him after the defeat at the hands of Rayo Vallecano. Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad this Thursday at Ciudad Deportiva.
“FC Barcelona would like to thank him for his services and wish him well in his career.”