Five potential Villanova replacements as Barcelona manager

As Tito Villanova steps down to receive further cancer treatment we ask who could take the role?

Barcelona have been dealt a massive blow ahead of the new season as Tito Villanova, the man who led them to La Liga glory last season, has had to step down from his role at the club after suffering a relapse in his fight against salivary gland cancer.

Barcelona are now said to be looking for a replacement with a new man expected to be announced next week.

So who could take one of the biggest jobs in football that has suddenly become available by unfortunate circumstance?

Frank de Boer

De Boer has come out in support of Villanova today and it would not surprise me to see the Dutchman in charge at the Nou Camp.

He played at centre-back in Catalonia for four years and has since gone on to have a successful management career.

He plays an attractive brand of football at Ajax that would be appreciated at Barca and has also been successful; winning three Eredivisie titles in a row.

For me, he is the perfect replacement.

Joan Francesc Ferrer ‘Rubi’

Rubi was recently appointed assistant to Villanova for the upcoming season after an incredible season in charge of Girona last term.

He led the unfancied Catalan side to a play-off final against Almeria in the Segunda Liga and he may now get promoted to the top job earlier than expected.

Jupp Heynckes

The former Bayern Munich boss governed the Bavarians to a thumping victory against Barca in last season’s Champions League but was replaced by Pep Guardiola this summer.

The former Real Madrid manager said he would take a year out from management - but if Barca come calling we imagine he could be talked round.

Marcelo Bielsa

The Argentine has won many plaudits in recent years for the way he has got the likes of Chile and Athletic Bilbao playing football.

It would certainly be a style conducive to Blaugrana; but his inconsistency as a manager could let him down.

Michael Laudrup

The Swansea City manager is the second Premier League gaffer linked with the role but Andre Villas-Boas has distanced himself from the position. Laudrup refused to comment on the role but he is also a former player at the club and with a reportedly tense relationship with Huw Jenkins Laudrup might make the move.

Other names linked with the role include former boss Frank Rijkaard, Brighton boss Oscar Garcia and former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini…

But who do you think will get the role?

images: © Doha Stadium Plus, ©

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