Luis Enrique’s announcement that he would be stepping down as Barcelona at the end of the campaign stunned the football world on Wednesday night.
It may have been the worst-kept secret in world football, but the timing of Enrique’s announcement caught everyone by surprise and will spark numerous rumours and reports of his replacement.
Jorge Sampaoli is among the frontrunners for the post due to his achievements with Sevilla this season, moulding the Andalucians into title contenders and guiding them into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
The Argentine coach also has forged strong relationships with star Barca players including Lionel Messi and Neymar.
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Two other Spanish-based managers are also reportedly in the reckoning – former Barca B coach Eusebio Sacristan has propelled Real Sociedad to 5th in his first season in charge of the club and his style of play along with his grounded attitude has appealed to Barca chiefs.
Another name linked to the position is a manager of another Basque club – Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde, who unlike his rivals would not require any compensation fee in June in order for any move to be complete and again his attitude and playing style are thought to be highly thought-of by the Catalans.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out any move to Spain but Everton boss Ronald Koeman could be an outside bet to return to the club he starred for as a player over two decades ago.