MX23RW : Tuesday, January 21 13:52:01| >> :600:543730:543730:

Quique Setien 'was Barcelona's fourth choice'

Setien 'was Barcelona's fourth choice'
© Reuters
Quique Setien was Barcelona's fourth choice to replace Ernesto Valverde as manager, according to Spanish football expert Graham Hunter.

Spanish football expert Graham Hunter has claimed that Quique Setien was Barcelona's fourth choice to replace Ernesto Valverde as manager.

Despite sitting top of the La Liga standings, the Catalan giants announced on Monday night that Valverde had been removed from his position in the dugout.

However, while Setien was revealed to be Valverde's successor, Hunter has suggested that the former Real Betis has only been handed the reins because other candidates rejected the opportunity to make the switch to Camp Nou.

Speaking to Sky Sports' Transfer Talk podcast, Hunter said: "They went out to Qatar to try and persuade Xavi, who they should have known wouldn't come, couldn't come.

"They tried to persuade Ronald Koeman, who had already told them previously he wouldn't join them. He thinks he'll coach the Netherlands to the European Championship and victory this summer.

"They sussed out what Mauricio Pochettino had previously said, that he'd rather go back and work on his farm in Argentina than go and coach Barcelona, they tried to persuade him.

"Quique Setien is an attractive coach with a [Johan] Cruyff mentality but he is fourth choice, at best. It has been a risible Keystone Cops affair from start to finish."

Setien's first game in charge will be against Granada at Camp Nou on Sunday evening.

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