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Who will take Barcelona's coaching spot?

Four prospects to take Barcelona's coaching job this summer

March 2, 2017 By Oscar Rojas
Los Blaugranas will enter the market searching for the right manager to succeed Luis Enrique. Here are four suitable options already linked with the Spanish giants.

Luis Enrique will step down as Barcelona's coach when the season comes to a close. Not even a second treble could make the Spanish boss change his mind, and now, Barcelona's execs face the tough task to find a suitable replacement for the 46-year old manager.

Reports from the Spanish press suggest that Los Blaugranas are looking for a coach that can put up a show for their fans around the world. A candidate with an impressive resume and, of course, with that touch of offensive football that will make their stars shine. The candidate in question will be awarded extra points if  he has "Barça DNA" running through his veins.

With that in mind, here's a look at four possible managers to take Barcelona's coaching job

Ernesto Valverde (Athletic Club)

According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Valverde is the front runner to take Luis Enrique's spot as Barcelona's boss. His credentials include winning the 2015 Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona, and three Greek league titles with Olympiakos. His current deal with Athletic expires by the end of the season, which gives his chances a huge boost since Los Blaugranas wouldn't have to negotiate with any team a release clause.

PROS: Played for Barcelona, La Liga coaching experience is out of the question, out of contract by the end of the summer.

CONS: Has never coached a top caliber club, his lack of experience handling some of football's superstars could be a setback.

Jorge Sampaoli (Sevilla)

The Argentinean boss emerged as a candidate due to his impressive first season as Sevilla's coach. The former Chile manager stands out for his football philosophy, which almost had him taking Argentina's coaching job after Gerardo Martino stepped down. Despite not having a successful career as a footballer, Sampaoli has made a name for himself by leading La Roja to its first-ever International title in the 2015 Copa América. He is the preferred choice among Barça fans in numerous polls run by Spanish media.

PROS: Interesting football philosophy, international experience, knows how to handle stars on and off the pitch.

CONS: Under contract with Sevilla until 2018, no "Barça DNA"

Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur)

Pochettino's rise to prominence came when he began coaching Southampton in 2013, a club he led to the 8th spot of the EPL in his second season. His job developing talents such as Dele Alli and Harry Kane at Tottenham could come in handy for a team known for being keen on offering chances to their younger, but his past as an Espanyol player and his lack of silverware make him a risky bet for Los Blaugranas' execs.

PROS: Has coached previously in La Liga, football philosophy adapts to Barcelona's school of developing young talents.

CONS: Played 301 games for bitter-rivals Espanyol, has never won a title, under contract with Tottenham until 2021.

Ronald Koeman

His name needs no introduction at Can Barça, as Ronald Koeman won almost every major tournament he played with the team from 1989 to 1995, including a UEFA Champions League with a stunning free kick. He had a role as Louis Van Gaal's assistant from 1998 to 2000, and went on to win 3 Eredivisie titles with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. He was one of the candidates to take Barcelona's coaching job back in 2003, but he couldn't join Los Blaugranas after Ajax and the Spanish club failed to reach an agreement on his release clause.

PROS: Played for Barcelona, coached Valencia in La Liga previously, knows how to deal with top caliber players.

CONS: Hasn't won a league title for almost ten years, under contract with Everton until 2019, has an €8M release clause with the Toffees.


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