Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has emerged as a shock contender to take over from current Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde in Barcelona.
Valverde’s current deal expires at the end of the season, with both he and the club having an option to extend his stay by a year if they so wish.
But doubts have emerged in Spain as to whether either party will want to keep Valverde beyond the end of the current campaign.
But according to Sport, Barcelona does already has a number of names in mind, with Henry beginning to emerge as a serious candidate.
Barcelona believes that their next coach must have a clear understanding of the identity and playing traditions of the club, and Henry fits the bill.
Having played for Barcelona for three seasons between 2007 and 2010 Henry is a popular figure at Camp Nou.
However Henry flopped in his first managerial post at Monaco, winning just four of his 20 games in charge before being sacked with the club embroiled in a relegation battle.
But Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes that Henry’s good relationship with key figures at the club, including Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Gerard Pique, would stand him in good stead if he were to take over.
Only last month Henry was appointed coach of MLS club Montreal Impact but has yet to oversee a match as the North American season doesn’t kick off until the end of February.
Henry is not the only name on the ever-growing list of potential successors to Valverde, however.
While a return for Pep Guardiola or Luis Enrique seems unrealistic, the likes of Ronald Koeman, Jordi Cruyff, Marcelo Gallardo, Erik ten Hag and Roberto Moreno are considered realistic contenders.
Valverde has regularly been criticized at Barcelona, with many believing his side are simply not good enough.
This criticism comes despite the fact he has won La Liga in both of his full seasons in charge so far – and currently sits top of the table again heading into the second half of the season.
Style of play and spectacular collapses in the Champions League have been the main factors in undermining Valverde’s position with the former Athletic Bilbao manager likely to move on in the summer.