Valverde Now become First Coach Barça has Sacked in Mid-season| Replaced with Quique Setien

Barcelona have replaced their coach Ernesto Valverde with Quique Setien according to a club statement.

The decision to remove Valverde was taken during a board meeting that lasted more than four hours at Camp Nou on Monday afternoon.

An official statement was issued on Monday night, with a press conference to follow on Tuesday.

Barca are top of La Liga but have won only one of their last five matches. Valverde will be the first coach the club has sacked mid-season since Louis van Gaal in 2003.

Setien’s first game in charge will be at home to Granada on Sunday. Barcelona play Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League next month and Real Madrid in the league at the start of March.

He will also have to do without Luis Suarez, who will be missing for the next four months after having surgery on his right knee.

Setien has made no secret of his admiration for the stylistic traditions of Barca, with the 61-year-old also renowned for favouring an exciting, attacking mode of football.

A former player of Atletico Madrid and Racing Santander, he was circled as a potential coach of the Catalans during a particularly successful period in charge of Real Betis.

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