Roberto Martinez Ronald KoemanGetty

Barcelona look for best moment to sack Koeman and make Martinez a priority to become coach

Barcelona are preparing to part with Ronald Koeman, with Goal learning that the Dutchman will be relieved of his duties at Camp Nou as Belgium boss Roberto Martinez becomes a top target to replace him.

Speculation regarding the future of the former Blaugrana star has raged over several months, but a decision to head in a different direction has now been taken.

The Liga giants are now waiting on the right moment to make a change, as they are in the middle of a hectic domestic and European schedule, but an axe is about to fall in Catalunya.

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When will Koeman be sacked?

Barca are seeing matches come thick and fast at present, with a 1-1 draw against Granada on Monday set to be followed by a trip to Cadiz on Thursday and a home date with Levante on Sunday.

No action will be taken in the midst of that run, while they also have no successor to Koeman lined up and are still experiencing financial difficulties that are making a redundancy package hard to fund.

Barca are, however, close to piecing together the €12 million (£10m/$14m) that it would take to pay off their current boss and terminate the final months of a contract that is due to run until the summer of 2022.

After their run of domestic fixtures, Barca also have a Champions League group-stage clash with Benfica fast approaching, before then taking on Atletico Madrid and the familiar faces of Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann.

The second international break of 2021-22 will arrive in mid-October, with it expected that Barca will act then when it comes to parting with Koeman - unless a stunning reversal in fortune on the pitch is enjoyed by a side currently sat seventh in the table.

Who will Barcelona look to appoint?

Roberto Martinez BelgiumGetty Images

Goal has learned that the next appointment at Camp Nou will not act as a bridge, with long-term plans in the process of being drawn up.

Former captain Xavi continues to be heavily linked with a retracing of his steps to Catalunya and has made no secret of the fact that he would like to manage Barca at some stage.

He is, however, tied to a contract in Qatar with Al Sadd and is not the top choice for Joan Laporta and Co at present.

Martinez is the preferred option for now, but he is also locked into a deal elsewhere.

The Spaniard is currently focused on the Nations League finals with Belgium in October, while qualification is well under way for the 2022 World Cup.

It could be that Martinez, who is a Catalan native, is open to walking away from his international post after another shot at silverware has been taken in during the next break in domestic action.

Barca, though, are playing their cards close to their chest and biding their time, with no talks opened as yet.

What is clear is that Koeman, who was appointed by ousted former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, is on borrowed time and may soon find himself in the market for another coaching post.

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