Suarez: Enrique decision surprised Barca stars

He added that Koeman's mediocre spell at Valencia in the 2007-08 season will count against him.

Enrique got his start as a manager in 2008 with Barcelona B, taking charge of the reserve side four years after the end of his playing career.

One of these betting agencies, Irish-based Paddy Power, has released an extensive list of potential cadidates to become the next head coach of Barcelona, with current Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli the leading candidate, with odds of 3/1 to become Barça's next head honcho.

Liverpool will be hoping this does not come true as the Reds have placed their long term future in Klopp's hands in the shape of a new six year contract.

Barca won at Sporting 5-0 earlier this year and somehow improved the goal output here with six.

Another rumored candidate is Ernesto Valverde, now with Athletic Bilbao.

Luis Enrique's stint at the club has been a successful one. "I am switched on for too many hours of the day and I need to disconnect", Luis Enrique told a news conference on Friday ahead of Barca's La Liga game with Celta Vigo.

But this week they leapfrogged Real Madrid to top spot in the league and have a Copa Del Rey final meeting to look forward to against Alaves in May. "Three months in all competitions. I just want to say thank you for all you have done for three years at my club".

"Goodbye leader", said the front page of Catalan sport daily Mundo Deportivo in reference to Enrique's announcement which took place on the same night Barca displaced Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

The Spaniard made the announcement on Wednesday following his team's dominant 6-1 home win over Sporting Gijon.

"As a fan, I'm sad because we're going to lose the ideal coach for Barca", said Guardiola.

"I have a ideal relationship with the dressing room".

Rakitic revealed that while the players are in shock, they are eager to give Enrique the best send-off possible.

Luis Enrique also said his decision to leave will not necessarily have a direct effect on his coaching staff, with assistant Juan Carlos Unzue among the candidates to take over from him, and claimed he's not yet sure what his next move will be.

Vanessa Coleman

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