Former Germany midfielder Bernd Schuster is favourite to take over as coach of his old club Barcelona if Louis Van Gaal is sacked.

Both the Dutchman and club president Joan Gaspart have come under increasing pressure since last Saturday’s 4-2 home defeat by Valencia.

Schuster was playmaker for the Barcelona side who won the Spanish league under Terry Venables in 1985 and reached the Champions Cup Final a year later. He played subsequently for both Real and Atletico Madrid but remains linked largely with Barcelona.

Currently Schuster is boss of Jerez, who are eighth in the second division, and the difference in league status means there would be no obstacle to him accepting a mid-season appointment at Camp Nou.

Schuster, who played for Barcelona from 1980 to 1988, has never hidden his ambition of returning one day as coach.

The only restriction on coaches in Spain is that they are not allowed to work for two clubs in the same division in the same season.

Schuster also has a clause in his two-year Jerez contract through which the club agrees to release him if he should receive an offer “from a club of major profile” after he has completed a minimum of one year.
By Keir Radnedge