Barcelona Identify Enrique’s Replacement

Sevilla's coach Jorge Sampaoli.

REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

Barcelona have identified current Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli as Luis Enrique’s successor, according to Calcio Mercato.

Sampaoli’s men have been tremendously impressive this season, and they currently sit third in the La Liga table, just two points behind second-placed Barcelona, and three behind Real Madrid (who still have two more games in hand).

But amid the Argentinian’s successful campaign with Sevilla, several news sources have been linking him with a potential move to Barcelona, due to current Barca boss, Luis Enrique, still remaining unsure about his future with the Catalan club.

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Sampaoli is well known for his attacking and offensive philosophy, and Barcelona superstars Javier Mascherano, Neymar, and the main man Lionel Messi himself are believed to be the huge fans of the 56-year-old. In fact, some reports even claim Messi has personally asked the club to hire the Sevilla boss if Enrique does end up leaving any time soon.

Jorge Sampaoli, for one, would jump at the opportunity to coach Barcelona and Leo Messi, especially since he was recently heard heaping big praise on the 5-time Ballon D’Or winner, by claiming: “To compare Messi to the rest, is like comparing a good policeman to Batman.”

And with the impressive manager’s release clause being as low as €1.5 million, the Blaugrana would hardly bat an eye to splash the cash and get their man.

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However, Sevilla president Jose Castro thinks his first team boss will honour his contract and stay committed to his club, as he told Cadena Cope: “Sampaoli is not at Sevilla just passing by, he talks to us about the future. Sampaoli is very happy here and is already planning for next season.”

There may, in fact, be some truth in Castro’s statement, as the reigning Spanish Champions are also rumoured to be looking at other alternatives – Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, and Inter Milan boss Frank De Boer, to name a few.

And De Boer’s agent, Guido Albers, has now added another candidate to the list, after recently telling Tuttomercato: “I don’t believe Frank will go. Barcelona already have managers like Ronald Koeman in mind.”


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