Struggling Almeria appoint Sergi Barjuan as new manager

Almeria have appointed ex-Barcelona player Sergi Barjuan as their third coach of the season -- and his first game could be away to his old club.

Barjuan, 43, succeeds Juan Ignacio Martinez, who was sacked after the 4-1 home defeat to Levante on Sunday.

The former Spain international coached second-tier side Recreativo between 2012 and 2014.

Almeria say he will take charge of the trip to the Camp Nou on Wednesday if the paperwork confirming his appointment is completed in time.

They are without a win in seven games and made their first managerial change of the season in December, when Francisco Rodriguez was sacked.

A club statement on the sacking said: "Almeria have decided to sack Juan Ignacio Martinez as coach of the first team as a consequence of the recent results and the image given by the team, which in this round of matches has returned to the relegation places after losing in emphatic fashion at home to a direct rival."

Martinez guided Almeria to three successive wins in the league and Copa del Rey in his opening three games, but has since managed only two victories in 14 matches.