Soccer-Koeman in talks to coach Barca, who sack Abidal as part of restructuring

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Later in the day, Barca decided to terminate the contract of Abidal, another popular former player, which was met with surprise as the club had said a day earlier that a restructuring of the squad would be overseen by the Frenchman.

The dismissal of Abidal came a day after Setien was sacked after only seven months in charge.

Abidal, a double Champions League winner as a Barca player, had been in the role for over two years but has been let go after one of the club’s worst seasons in recent memory, in which they also surrendered the league title to Real Madrid.

He was also the target of criticism from Lionel Messi earlier this year, who accused his former team mate of blaming the squad for Ernesto Valverde getting sacked as coach last January.

Abidal joined Barca as a player in 2007 and became one of the club’s most popular players for enduring a battle with cancer, which forced him to undergo a liver transplant in 2012.

“The club would publicly like to thank Éric Abidal for his professionalism, commitment, dedication and the close and positive nature of his relationship with all aspects of the Barca family,” the club said in a statement. (Reporting by Richard Martin, additional reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Hugh Lawson)