Roberto Martinez responds to rumours he will replace Ronald Koeman as Barcelona manager

La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit

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Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has addressed speculation that he’s in line to replace Ronald Koeman at Barcelona. Reports have suggested Koeman has a few games to save his job as manager of the La Liga giants, who would want Martinez to take his place.

Koeman is under immense pressure, with Barcelona slumped in eighth in La Liga after a dismal 1-1 draw with Granada at the Nou Camp on Monday, where the hosts only equalised to snatch a point in stoppage time.

The Blaugrana were also thumped in their opening Champions League game, losing 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich in Group E.

Belgium have soared under Martinez’s watch and are currently the world’s number one-ranked footballing nation.

The former Wigan Athletic and Everton boss will want a major international trophy with his 78 win percentage but would likely be interested if Barcelona came calling.

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Amid links to the Barcelona job, Martinez explained the pressure on Koeman is nothing new in football but played down talk of replacing the Dutchman.

He told Eurosport: “As you can imagine, there is nothing, really nothing, that I can comment on.

“Obviously, there will always be rumours; they are always there. This is normal in football. When you lose three games, the rumours say that you will lose your job.

“When things are good, when you get good results, there are also rumours. But there is nothing to comment on my part at this moment.”


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After Monday’s last-gasp draw against Granada, Koeman refused to answer questions in his press conference and issued a pre-planned statement.

It read: “Hello everyone. The club with me as coach is in a situation of rebuilding. The financial situation of the club is connected to the sporting activities and vice versa.

“This means we as a team have to rebuild the team without being able to make any big financial investments. This needs time.

“The young talent today could be the next big world stars in just a few years. To rebuild this team, young players will be given opportunities like Xavi and Iniesta had in their day. But we must ask for patience.

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“Achieving a high ranking in La Liga is a great success. In the Champions League, we can’t hope for miracles. The defeat by Bayern Munich last week has to be analysed with that perspective.

“The process we’re in now with the staff and the team deserves unconditional support, in words and actions. I know the press recognises this process.

“It’s not the first time in Barcelona’s history this has happened. We count on your support in these difficult times.

“As staff and players, we are very happy with the great support of the fans, like we had in the match against Granada. Visca Barca, thanks to everyone.”

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