It’s a sign of the times that two domestic league title holders, Leicester City and Barcelona, now suddenly find themselves desperately looking for a new manager.
After Claudio Ranieri’s controversial sacking at the King Power, Spain’s reigning La Liga champion, Barcelona also need a new boss to replace Luis Enrique who will step down at the end of the season.
Jorge Sampaoli is the favourite for the Nou Camp job with most firms. The Argentinian is currently in charge of Leicester’s Champions League opponents, Sevilla. Barca legend Lionel Messi is a Gaucho too, so if you fancy the Argentinian duo to link up at the end of the season, Paddy Power have a tempting 7-2 on Sampaoli, who has already made it clear that he fancies the job.
Interestingly, Rainieri’s assistant Craig Shakespeare remains favourite to take the Leicester job on a permanent basis. So with that logic in mind how about Juan Carlos Unzue. Who’s that you ask? Unzue is Enrique’s trusted number two and if you believe Spanish paper Diario Sport, then Unzue would be Enrique’s preferred choice to succeed him — making odds of 33-1 at BET365 very tempting indeed. Barca have previous in doing things this way as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, Tito Vilanova, stepped up to the top job when Pep left for his sabbatical in 2012.
Eusebio Sacristan, like Enrique and Guardiola, learnt his trade in charge of Barca’s B side. He’s dramatically improved Real Sociedad’s fortunes after David Moyes left the Basque side in a bit of a shambles. A former Barca midfielder and trusted assistant to Frank Rijkaard for five years, he knows the club inside out and he’s another tempter at 33s with bet365.
Ernesto Valverde is another former Barca player and has done a great job at Atletico Bilbao, steering them to Champions League football for the first time in 16 years and winning a first major trophy in over three decades, 4-0 in the Spanish Super Cup against none other than Barcelona. Coral have the value on Valverde at a best priced 9-2.
And former Barca legend Ronald Koeman has seemingly been destined for the top job at the Nou Camp for years. It’s surely just a question of when he gets given a go. He’s gained valuable Premier League experience with the likes of Southampton and Everton and would surely jump at the chance to manage MSN. Koeman is a massive 12-1 with Bet Victor to return to the club where he starred as a player between 1989 and 1995.
Oscar Garcia, formerly in charge of Watford and Brighton, could be a dark horse. He’s currently boss at RB Salzburg but has close Barca ties as a former player and coach. He’s as short as 4-1 with William Hill and as long as 33s with BWIN. Somewhere in between would be about right for his chances.
Other Premier League bosses in the frame include North London duo of Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino at 10-1 and 14-1 with William Hill, while Pep Guardiola can be backed at 33s for a surprise second spell.
Another ex Barca player Laurent Blanc (former PSG boss) is also at 14-1 with Paddy Power, while Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund’s progressive boss, is highly thought of both in Germany and abroad. Tuchel and his compatriot Jurgen Klopp are both available at 25s with Bet Victor.