La Liga 2016/17: Barcelona lineup Jorge Sampaoli to replace Luis Enrique after contract talks stall
Jorge Sampaoli, the current Sevilla coach has been mooted as a possible replacement for Luis Enrique at the Nou Camp after contract talks stalled with the current Barcelona coach. The Blaugrana coach also fondly known as Lucho has been integral to the Catalans’ success having inspired the team to a treble in 2014-15, followed by the league and cup double in 2015-16.
Sevilla lost 1-2 to Barcelona on Sunday evening but according to reports in the Spanish media they impressed the Catalan board. Jorge Sampaoli has been an inspirational appointment for the Spanish club after they lost Unai Emery to PSG in the summer. In fact, the work of the Chilean with the national team was the reason behind his appointment to the Sevilla job.
Although the Catalans would prefer to extend the deal of Luis Enrique as their first option, it is wise on their part to line up a backup. Sampaoli’s work with his sides has been notable and the Chilean would consider such an opportunity as the fruit of his efforts.
Contract talks stall
The recent surge of interest in the Chilean has largely been due to his team’s performances. A coach who advocates an attacking style of play, his teams generally serve up entertaining games. Another factor is Enrique’s refusal to discuss a new contract until the end of the season.
Enrique has time and again refused to commit to his future, preferring instead to focus on the matter once the season ends. However, recent comments by Enrique have led to the Catalan club seeking out potential replacements. The Spaniard recently stated, “If I don't continue coaching, it will be down to a lack of energy.”
Although there were reports in August that, Enrique’s contract would be discussed early next year, it now seems the Spaniard is more than willing to see out his contract until the end of the season before discussing a new one.
At the time, Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu said, “We will not discuss Luis Enrique's renewal now or at Christmas. The right time will be in February or March as he said that he didn't want to talk about it until the end of the season. Now we are thinking about the domestic league and the Champions League.”
Since then there has been little movement at both ends. However, Enrique’s recent comments about taking a break are sure to make the board jittery and it is a natural recourse for the club to identify the best possible replacement.
Sampaoli, it seems, fits the bill and the Board believes that the Chilean will be more than capable of leading the Blaugrana.