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Sampaoli favourite for Barcelona job – Koeman leads Prem candidates

| 02.03.2017

The announcement that Luis Enrique will stand down as Barcelona manager this summer wasn’t the biggest surprise in the world, but it still begs the question, who will replace him?

Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli heads the betting at 5/2, and the Argentine is certainly held in high regard, given his achievements this season with the Andalusian outfit.

Next up is current Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde at 11/4.

The Spaniard has been with the Basque club since 2013, and after a career with spells at Valencia, Espanyol, Villarreal and Olympiacos, is this his chance at a genuine top-level outfit?

Next come a Premier League trio, headed by Everton coach Ronald Koeman at 5/1.

The Dutchman is heralded in Catalunya thanks to a six-year stint in the late 1980s and early 1990s in which Barca won four La Liga titles and their first European Cup success in 1992.

And it was Koeman who also netted the winner in that clash with Sampdoria 25 years ago…

Koeman has managed in Spain before, with a six-month spell at Valencia nine seasons ago, and has made notable improvements at Everton since taking charge at Goodison Park last summer.

Arsene Wenger is next at 6s, with our traders refusing to rule the Arsenal boss out despite the Frenchman distancing himself from the position.

Wenger’s Arsenal have spent the past 10 years attempting to mirror Barcelona’s style of football, so it would surprise few to see the former Monaco boss move to Spain.

And rounding out the threesome of British-based bosses is Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine has impressed during his stint in England, firstly with Southampton, and then again at White Hart Lane.

At 10/1, Pochettino is fifth in the market but shouldn’t be ruled out.

Former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard is 12/1 to make a return, alongside ex-Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc.

The market then drifts out to 20/1, where you’ll find the mercurial Unai Emery sitting next to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.