It seems that the writing is on the wall for Barcelona boss Luis Enrique.
According to reports in the Spanish press, Enrique will lose his job this summer after a catastrophic 4-0 defeat against PSG in the last-16 of the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Enrique will not be dismissed on that result alone, but it seems the result could be the straw that broke the camel’s back after a series of poor results this season.
Far too many times the Barcelona boss has had to rely on talented front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar to bail him out during his reign.
He has recruited poorly and the team’s dependence on the MSN may well cost him his job this summer. Already there have been numerous high-profile names linked with the job. Three of those names Everton’s Ronald Koeman, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino are believed to have admirers at the Catalan club.
Premier candidates for the job
The link with Ronald Koeman may be more to do with the fact that he was highly-regarded as a player at the Nou Camp during his playing days. His appointment would be more about sentiment than his managerial ability, though.
Koeman has enjoyed a mixed managerial career. He did a decent job at Southampton and he is in the midst of resurrecting the fortunes of Everton. The job he has done on Merseyside is nowhere near done yet.
His Everton team are a work in progress and he could not be appointed as Barcelona boss just by helping the Toffees to seventh in the Premier League table. His status as an icon at the Spanish champions will no doubt keep him in contention for the job.
The Dutchman has never hidden his ambition to one day manage his former club, so like most right-minded candidates he would be unlikely to turn the opportunity down.
The Tottenham boss has established himself as one of the brightest young bosses in the Premier League in recent seasons. The Argentinian has turned Spurs into title contenders and has not needed to spend a fortune doing so.
His style of passing, attacking football would be in-keeping with the clubs philosophy. As a former Espanyol player and boss, he would be given very little room for error in his decisions. The former Southampton boss has implemented a system and created a team. Team being the operative word.
Pochettino is believed to have his admirers in the halls of power in Barcelona. His Espanyol days would be easily forgotten if he could revive the team.
The German boss seemed to be inspiring Liverpool to a Premier League title challenge this season, only for the wheels to fall off in recent months for the Reds. The side from Merseyside are still in the race for a top-four spot and Klopp is still highly rated throughout Europe.
Klopp is still seen as a top boss by many football observers, so his appointment would not be a massive shock. However, the German seems settled on Merseyside and happy to be resurrecting the Reds at the moment.
Favourite to be the next Barcelona boss
The current favourite to replace Luis Enrique in the Barcelona hot seat is, in fact, Sevilla’s Jorge Sampaoli at odds of 3/1. Koeman is very high in the betting, as is Pochettino.
Sampaoli for me looks like the logical choice. The former Chile national team boss has waited a long time for his chance in European club football and he has taken the chance with both hands at Sevilla.
The Chilean boss has created a team with a definite style and that has challenged the duopoly of the big two in Spain, which is no mean feat. Noises coming out of Spain suggest that Sampaoli is very interested in the Barcelona, as he would have to be silly not to be interested in one of the biggest managerial jobs in the game.
The likes of Koeman, Klopp and Pochettino cannot be ruled out from becoming the next Barcelona boss. However, surely Sampaoli has proven this season that he is the man for the job in Catalonia.
It has to be remembered that Luis Enrique has not actually been sacked. However, after what has been a tepid campaign for Barcelona the form Spain international seems destined for the Blaugrana exit door.
Who will be Barcelona’s boss next season?
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