Barcelona rumour: Laurent Blanc being lined up to replace Luis Enrique as manager next season
What’s the story?
Barcelona have reportedly made contact with former Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc to take over Luis Enrique at the end of the season. The club are already moving in to ensure their future isn’t affected by the Spaniard’s announcement.
Blanc has been a free-agent ever since leaving the Parisian club at the end of last season. He led the club to two Ligue 1 titles in his two years in charge but was ultimately asked to leave due to his sides’ failure of progressing into the latter rounds of the UEFA Champions League.
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Enrique announced earlier this week that he’d be stepping down as the manager of the club at the end of the season. Having been the manager for three years, the Spaniard won eight out of the ten trophies possible and is still in the running to win three more this season with the UEFA Champions League title seemingly slipping away.
His decision to ‘take a break’ from the sport has shocked players and pundits alike. He’s been linked with a move to the Premier League and the Serie A now with multiple clubs reportedly waiting in the wings to snap him up on the free.
The heart of the matter
Despite being ahead of Real Madrid in the table currently, the Catalans are not having a great season. Having gone down to Blanc’s former side 4-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League, there are many fans and experts who believe Enrique’s time at the Camp Nou is coming to an end.
They’re now in search of a manager capable of producing attacking football without having to compromise on the quality of the play. Blanc did wonders with his Paris Saint-Germain side winning trophies and entertaining fans at the same time and could very well challenge for Europe’s top honour with Barcelona.
Given Barcelona’s insistence on employing someone who wholeheartedly believes in the club’s ethos, Blanc would be one of the first few managers who won’t fit the square as a peg. The Frenchman’s direct attacking style could force the club to look elsewhere.
With Jorge Sampaoli performing excellently with Sevilla, Barcelona are looking to hire someone in that mould. Atletic Bilbao’s Ernesto Valverde is also a candidate. Blanc seems an unlikely choice and the chances of him being appointed could very well end at it being a rumour.