BARCELONA: Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is favourite to take over at Barcelona after the Catalan club sacked Quique Setien.

The 61-year-old, appointed only in January in place of Ernesto Valverde, paid the expected price for Friday’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

A club statement said: “The board of directors have agreed that Quique Setien is no longer the first-team coach.

“This is the first decision within a wider restructuring of the first team which will be agreed between the current technical secretary and the new coach, who will be announced in the coming days.”

Sporting director Eric Abidal has also been sacked.

Setien won 16 of his 25 games in charge of Barca, but it was his five defeats which proved crucial. Even before Friday’s thrashing to Bayern Munich, the Spaniard was under pressure after he failed to stop Real Madrid clinching the LaLiga title.

The former Betis boss was also unable to lead Barcelona to success in the Copa del Rey either, with Atletico Bilbao knocking them out in the quarter-finals.

Koeman has a release clause that allows him to leave the Dutch national team for Barcelona – which has always been his dream since the 57-year-old was a star player with the club 30 years ago.

The former Southampton and Everton manager was approached by Barcelona in January but did not want to walk away from the Netherlands five months before Euro 2020.

He is understood to have been offered a two-year contract but there will be presidential elections in March after the club announced they had been brought forward to chooe a successor to Josep Maria Bartomeu.

How long Koeman may last is another matter since election favourite Víctor Font has already said he would want to appoint a more recent old club hero in Xavi Hernández.