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Koeman no longer favorite for Barcelona job?

After Barca’s Champions League thrashing at the hands of PSG, managerial rumors are back in full force.

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Middlesbrough v Everton - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Given both his status as a club legend at the Camp Nou and the fact that Barcelona love to bring their own back in coaching roles, Ronald Koeman has repeatedly been linked to the Catalan club’s potential upcoming managerial vacancy.

Luis Enrique’s contract is up this summer, and after his team took a resounding beating yesterday in Champions League play (likely resulting in a failure to progress to the semifinals for two years running), it’s become increasingly likely he will not return next season. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Real Madrid are top of La Liga with games in hand.

While Koeman has played coy with the ongoing links to the Barcelona position, and you could hardly blame him for giving it consideration, a report from the Telegraph this morning suggests he is no longer the front runner for the job:

Jorge Sampaoli, the man Chelsea almost appointed as head coach, is the leading contender to succeed Luis Enrique at Barcelona.

Sampaoli is undoubtedly an excellent manager, but would be somewhat of a strange direction for Barca to take their hiring process considering their history there.

Either way, this will come as good news to Everton and their fans, as the Koeman project is picking up steam and gaining success on the field and in the transfer market.