FC Barcelona have terminated the contract of sporting director Eric Abidal less than 24 hours after sacking Quique Setien as head coach.
The 40-year-old was said to have defended Setien after the 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League on Friday evening, which Diario Sport reported was the final straw for the club.
Abidal has been at the centre of controversy this season already when captain Lionel Messi called him out publically within the media for his criticism at the squad during a poor run of form.
But Spanish news outlet Cadena Cope claimed the four-time LaLiga winner will remain in his role for the 2020/21 season as the club backs him for a crucial role in player recruitment in the coming month.
Scroll through the gallery below to see 12 players who could depart in the off-season
It's been suggested that a decision to fire Abidal is seen as a major risk towards securing their primary targets that have already been sounded out as the club is expected to undergo a squad overhaul following a trophyless campaign.
However, the Blaugrana have now acted swiftly after a trophyless campaign as they look to restore the club's reputation after a tumultuous 2020/21 season.
"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 Blaugrana family," the statement read.
With Messi notably not seeing eye-to-eye with the Frenchman, the decision comes as no surprise, with Abidal playing a crucial role in the sacking of Valverde whilst the Spanish giants were at the summit of the LaLiga standings.
During his two-year reign, Abidal oversaw the signings of goalkeeper Neto and Junior Firpo, with Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann's transfers already in place before his arrival.