Guus Hiddink has resigned as manager of Anzhi Makhachkala, leading to speculation that he may be a candidate for the vacant Barcelona hotseat.

Hiddink has played a key role in the emergence of the Dagestan-based club built on the backing of billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov.

But he today announced he would be standing down with with former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen named as his replacement. 

An Anzhi statement published on, read: "FC Anzhi has accepted the request of the head coach to terminate their employment relationship.

"The club sincerely thanks Guus Hiddink for his significant contribution to the club and wishes him success in his future career."

Hiddink joined Anzhi in February 2012, just over a year after Kerimov had purchased the club and funded the signing of a number of high-profile players, including former Inter Milan and Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o - reportedly making him the highest-paid player in the world.

Anzhi finished fifth in the 2011-12 season but improved to a third-placed finish a year later.

Barcelona are looking for a coach to replace Tito Vilanova who was forced to step down last week as he undergoes continuing treatment for throat cancer.