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Who Will Replace Luis Enrique At Barcelona?

Despite winning the treble in his first season and the double last season, Barcelona fans never really took to Luis Enrique and it will not be a surprise when he leaves Barcelona at the end of the season.

The players will not fight for him to stay because many have lost faith in him. And the board of directors know that if the coach doesn’t change then the spotlight will shine on them.

So who will be the new man in the dug-out for the 2017-18 season? Here is a look at the top five candidates to replace Luis Enrique at the Camp Nou this summer.

Jorge Sampaoli
The favourite and the choice of many Barcelona fans who believe the team’s biggest problem at the moment is the complete loss of intensity and betrayal of its passing football philosophy.

Sampaoli would restore all of that and he’s also admired by Lionel Messi who with a new contract as yet unsigned will definitely be consulted.

Sampaoli would bring his Sevilla assistant Juanma Lillo who is one of Pep Guardiola’s closest confidants in football – the ‘philosophy’ would be safe in his hands.

Sevilla would be upset to lose their manager after just one season but they are a selling club and they would accept him not turning down the opportunity.

He stayed loyal to them at the start of the season when he was offered the Argentina job having just moved to Spain.

Chance of taking over: 4/5

Ernesto Valverde
Perhaps not the most exciting option seen with outsider’s eyes, but remember Valverde is from the house of Barca.

Supporters would welcome him remembering him fondly playing for the team. Some of them wanted him three years ago when the job went to Luis Enrique instead.

He oversaw the ‘other’ 4-0 win over Barcelona at the start of the season when Athletic Bilbao beat Barcelona to win the Spanish Super Cup.

He is not pulling up any trees this season at San Mames but his hands are tied by a limited squad. Most believe with the infinitely better resources that would be available to him at the Nou Camp he would prosper.

Chance of taking over: 4/5

Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham supporters shouldn’t be too concerned, Pochettino has gone on the record far too many times saying how much he would love to coach Real Madrid one day to ever end up at the Nou Camp.

He managed and played for Barca’s city rivals Espanyol so spent many a season willing the worst for Barcelona.

Stranger things have happened in football and his style of play would certainly suit. Who knows, maybe Lionel Messi will thump his fist on the boardroom table and say: ‘this is the man I want’.

But unless that happens it looks like a non-runner from the start.

Chance of taking over: 1/5

Carlos Unzue
Back when everything in the Nou Camp garden was rosy (about a week ago) Unzue was being talked about as a possible successor to Luis Enrique.

The trouble with hiring the No 2 to replace the No 1is that unless the No 1 leaves carried shoulder high surrounded by trophies, who really wants his side-kick to take over?

Unzue has contributed hugely to Barca’s success over the last two seasons, especially in the way they defend and attack set-plays… but he won’t get the top job when the manager goes.

Chance of taking over: 0/5

Unai Emery
That train has left the station unfortunately. If he successfully dumps Barcelona out of the Champions League then there would certainly be no need for a PowerPoint presentation in the job interview.

But PSG are not about to let Barca nick their super-coach and Emery has started a job in Paris that he will want to finish.

Chance of taking over: 1/5