Barcelona have begun the process of finding a suitable replacement for Ronald Koeman, with the Dutch manager failing to arrest the team's recent slide. It is not expected to happen immediately, but the search is expected to intensify in the coming days.

The Catalan club remain unbeaten in La Liga, but are only in sixth place after having drawn three of their six games thus far. The Champions League campaign, on the other hand, has not started well with Barcelona suffering two humiliating defeats at the hands of Bayern Munich and Benfica in the first two match days.

Koeman received the backing of club president Joan Laporta ahead of their game against Benfica, while the former Everton manager has put more pressure on himself by stating that "he is the reason Barcelona have a future." The La Liga giants take on reigning champions Atletico Madrid on Sunday, and that could be the final straw for the Dutchman.

"Barcelona are looking for new manager and the current plan is to change - it could take some days. Process started with the whole board involved. Talking with many different candidates to replace Ronald Koeman," Fabrizio Romano wrote.

The Italian transfer guru's views were shared by Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who feels it is just a matter of time before Koeman gets the sack after a high level board meeting took place following Barcelona's trip to Benfica. They are just waiting for the right time, once a plan is made about a potential replacement.

Barcelona are considering a number of candidates for the potentially soon-to-be vacant managerial position. Camp Nou legend Xavi Hernandez is one of the candidates and so is Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.

Apart from the aforementioned duo, Barcelona are also said to be looking at former Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo, despite his lack of experience at the top level of management. The former Italy international struggled in his debut campaign in Turin, managing to scrape through into fourth place before making way for Massimiliano Allegri.

Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman returns to the club he helped win the European Cup in 1992 Josep LAGO/AFP