By Tim Stannard/beIN SPORTS
Ernesto Valverde takes Barcelona team for training on Monday with rumors that it could be for the last time
"So...does anyone know what Kevin-Prince Boateng is up to at the moment?"
That was the least popular suggestion out of the brainstorming session organized at the Camp Nou on Monday to deal with the rather unfortunate news that Luis Suarez was going to miss the next four months after undergoing knee surgery.
However, as damaging as this is, it is the least important of the two mountain-sized problems badgering Barca.
After all, Barcelona still has Sports Burst's high-performance player of the campaign so far, presented by Bosch ICON - a certain Lionel Messi - to now single-handedly get Barcelona through the season.
However, that rug was pulled a little from under the Spaniard's feet over the weekend with the report that Xavi Hernandez had been approached to immediately take over, after Barcelona's Spanish Super Cup semifinal loss to Atletico Madrid.
The former midfielder, currently coaching in Qatar, reportedly declined the opportunity, to leave Barcelona's social media team half-heartedly posting photographs of Valverde in group chat-mode with the players at Monday's training session. However, there are reports in the Barcelona media that Valverde could be gone as soon as today.
Workout with available first team players on Tito Vilanova Field.— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 13, 2020
Arthur does part of the workout with the group; ter Stegen works out on the field.
Todibo not present with club permission.
Barça B's Iñaki Peña, C. Pérez, and Ansu Fati also take part. pic.twitter.com/SEx3JJ72tp
LaLiga returns this week to find Barcelona at the top of the standings but at the bottom of a deep well of doom.
Slim pickings in terms of Valverde's possible replacement
Sports Burst is now going to look ahead at what could happen on Monday should the plug be pulled on Ernesto Valverde - probably minutes after today's edition is published.
With Xavi Hernandez ruling himself out of the running, the club might be looking at appointing a temporary stand-in to take the team until the end of the season. If that's the case then former Betis boss, Quique Setien is being mentioned in some parts of the Barcelona press, especially due to the Spaniard's more rumbustious style of play compared to the conservative Valverde.
However, some more permanent choices have been mentioned and there seems to be little or no hope in getting them. Mauricio Pochettino is Espanyol through and through and has publicly declared that there is no chance of him coaching at the Camp Nou.
Ronald Koeman has been more open to the possibility in the past but is managing Netherlands at the 2020 European Championships. Same situation with other candidate, Roberto Martinez, current manager of Belgium, one of the top ranked teams on the planet.
Looks like Ernesto might be sticking around a little longer than thought.
Eriksen in Tottenham-Inter tug of war
There appear to be negotiations between Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan over an immediate move for the Danish playmaker who is out a contract in the summer. Inter are hoping to get the deal done for $10 million, but Spurs are holding out for double.
In theory, this sets up a Mexican striker super season in Los Angeles for the new MLS campaign with Carlos Vela at LAFC. But at the moment, that could be a big 'if'. A fan theory has Vela moving to Barcelona to fill the aforementioned Luis Suarez gap with an offer supposedly on Vela's table for some time.