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Barcelona's Sergio Busquets gives signed shirt to Betis coach Quique Setien, boss tipped for Camp Nou

After becoming the first coach to inflict a home defeat on Barcelona in 26 months, Real Betis manager Quique Setien's stock has never been higher.

With a reputation for prioritising attractive, attacking football, the word on the wire in Spain is that Setien may well end up plying his trade with Barca, and sooner rather than later.

Indeed, with Ernesto Valverde's future uncertain beyond the summer, there are some who believe the Catalans will make their move to bring the highly-regarded Betis boss on board come the end of the season.

Setien, who has only been in charge at Betis for 18 months, has not done much to dispel the rumours either, recently speaking about how deeply he admires Johan Cruyff and the Dutch icon's enduring legacy at the Camp Nou.

"[After watching Cruyff's Barca team] I started to see football in a different way," he told El Periodico in an interview given before Los Verdiblancos' famous win on Sunday. "I understood the essence of the game.

"I had heard since I was a young that I had to run and suddenly I realised that I do not. That what you have to do is play with your head and not with your feet or your heart."

Setien also singled out Sergio Busquets for praise in the same interview, calling the Barca midfielder a "very clever player" before lauding his ability to read the game.

Coincidentally, it was reported that Setien approached Busquets in the Camp Nou tunnel before kick-off and, as captured on camera, said: "Hey, listen, I want your shirt later. Has [the Betis press officer] already told you? You have to dedicate it to me and I will put it in a frame."

Sure enough...

The hand-scrawled message from Busquets reads: "To Quique, with appreciation and admiration for your way of seeing football. A hug".

Maybe we're being overly cynical, but there are distinct "Cesc Fabregas" vibes being emitted here, if you know what we mean. Let's face it, Barca have a slightly grubby track record when it comes to the drip-drip approach to player and staff recruitment.

We're sure Setien will be holding a Blaugrana scarf aloft at the Camp Nou in the due course, just as soon as his all-important "DNA" test results come back from Xavi's genealogy lab.


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