The veteran coach, who only took the Camp Nou job in January as replacement for Ernesto Valverde, has lost the confidence of the Barca dressing room, while the club’s board are also unhappy with recent performances.
Unless Barca’s displays for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign have a significant upswing, it is understood that it is inevitable Setien will leave his post in the summer.
The former Real Betis manager was given a two-and-a-half-year contract in January, however as things stand he will not be able to see out more than a few months of this deal.
Player power at Barcelona is strong – led by stars such as Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique – and the dressing room has turned against Setien due to confusion at his tactics and unhappiness at his comments in the press.
They are also unhappy with Setien being too hands-on in training – similar to how Real Madrid’s stars turned against Rafael Benitez before he was sacked and replaced by Zinedine Zidane – while the assistant manager, Eder Sarabia, is also a very unpopular figure.
Setien has also lost the confidence of the board, who hoped the coach would help smooth things over after Valverde’s departure – however poor results and negative football has ensured this has not been the case.
Setien needs a miracle to save his job in that Barcelona would need to win La Liga and/or the Champions League.
In La Liga, Barca trail Real Madrid by four points with four games to go after blowing a post-COVID lead over their bitter rivals.
In the Champions League they have a round of 16 second-leg clash with a resurgent Napoli side in August, a fixture that looks much more difficult than it looked in March.
Setien was never the first choice after Valverde’s sacking, with Ronald Koeman and Xavi Hernandez both turning down the job before the 61-year-old was appointed.
Former Barca star Xavi, now coach of Qatari club Al Sadd, has admitted he is preparing to manage his old club in the future, but he has no intention of returning to the Camp Nou while Josep Maria Bartomeu is still President. With presidential elections not for another 12 months, Barcelona are in a hoding pattern until then.