Tottenham manager Andres Villas-Boas has emerged an early favourite for the Barcelona job, following the resignation of Tito Vilanova due to poor health.
The 44-year old Spaniard has suffered from throat cancer which has returned this summer, and has forced him to stand down as manager of the La Liga champions. However, Villas-Boas instantly dismissed the rumours linking him to be Vilanova’s replacement.
‘If he has to resign for a situation of illness it’s not the moment to speak about any speculation whatsoever. It’s not even a question, we are speaking about a person’s health. I don’t know what they’re going to do so let’s see.’
Andres Villas-Boas, 35, led Tottenham to a 5th placed finish in the Premier League last season in his first year with the London side. He has reaffirmed his desire to stay with Spurs for the foreseeable future as he wants the side competing in the Champions League and challenging for trophies.
Alongside Villas-Boas, Gerard Martino, and Rubi (who is part of the current backroom staff at Barcelona) are among the favourites for the job.
As expected, the Catalan giants have stayed tight-lipped about Vilanova’s potential successor, but many feel it will be an in-house appointment like the side’s two last managers have been.
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, formerly of Barcelona, was in charge of the reserve team before getting the full-time job as manager of Barcelona. Tito Vilanova was Guardiola’s assistant and took over the role when Guardiola resigned in 2012.
To ensure long-term stability, Barcelona have kept all of their managerial appointments in-house for the last few years, and it appears they will continue the trend. Current assistant manager Jordi Roura could be given the job as caretaker for the season, as he was briefly in charge while Vilanova was undergoing treatment last season.