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Thursday March 9 2017
Standoff for Setien

Luke Taylor analyses the contract standoff between Las Palmas and their Coach Quique Setien and what it could mean for the club.

There are certain Coaches who have such an impact at a particular club that things are never quite the same when they leave. Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Jose Mourinho after his first spell at Chelsea and Inter, Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and probably Diego Simeone when he leaves Atletico Madrid, to name a few.

There is a chance that a similar thing could happen to Quique Setien at Las Palmas, provided that the 58-year-old stays in Gran Canaria beyond this season. The Coach, who kept them up last season and has made Los Amarillos arguably the most entertaining team in La Liga this time around, has a contract running until the end of this campaign and there is currently a standoff happening between the Cantabrian and his club.

Miguel Angel Ramirez, president of Las Palmas, originally only wanted talks over a new deal to commence at the end of the season, something that Setien did not seem too happy about. Knowing how important the former Equatorial Guinea Coach is to the club, Ramirez succumbed to Setien’s demands and offered him a five-year contract, which was swiftly rejected by the man in question.

It seems as though the ball is firmly in Setien’s court and he will keep negotiating to get the best deal possible. In relationship terms, he is playing hard to get. 

“I liked some things (about the contract), I see that the club are making a major effort, but I am not going to sign it,” Setien said on Tuesday night on the programme El Partidazo de Cope. “I think that we still need to give it another go, I will propose this to the club. But the club has never been in the situation it has been in now. I know that the club, the fans and the city love me, although I know that I can be awkward on some things.”

The problem for Las Palmas is that they cannot afford to lose their Coach, but can they afford to keep him? There have been reported offers for Setien throughout this season from Athletic Bilbao, with the possibility of Ernesto Valverde replacing Luis Enrique at Barcelona, and Valencia, Real Betis and Malaga. His stock has risen considerably, which means that if clubs are looking for a new Coach for next campaign, he will be a man in high demand, and if more money is on the table, there is a good chance that he will be poached.

If that was to happen, Los Amarillos would be in a sticky situation. They would lose a man who has improved the team’s standing in La Liga whilst playing some breathtaking football, and who has also raised the profile of the club with some stellar signings.

According to Sport, local newspaper Canarias7 states Setien has asked to have more participation in the squad’s preparation and also in the organisation of trips and the pre-season.

Whether or not he is irreplaceable remains to be seen, but for the sake Las Palmas fans, let’s hope that Setien is merely driving a hard bargain on his new contract in Gran Canaria and that the club give the man what he wants.  

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