Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is under growing pressure to decide whether he wants to remain at Camp Nou beyond the end of the season when his current contract is due to expire, with the club’s directors already beginning preparations for the 2017/18 campaign.
According to Catalan publication Sport, sporting director Robert Fernandez is involving Enrique and consulting with the Champions League winning manager as he plans for next season in terms of potential signings and areas of the squad to strengthen.
The report cites Barça’s great ‘respect’ for Enrique, but it only goes so far and they cannot reasonably plan for a season by consulting a coach that may or may not decide he still wants to be in charge – the negative aspects of the job are thought to weight heavy on him.
It is suggested that Barça would be well within their rights to begin speaking to new coaches as soon as Enrique enters the final six months of his contract (next week) and they still have no firm answer.
‘Barcelona will not wait until May’ Sports states, ‘it is too late’. It is said that March, when the more intense talks about Enrique’s future will really begin, will be critical.
Despite winning the La Liga title in each of his first two seasons in charge, Enrique has seen his team fall behind Real Madrid during the first half of 2016/17. With the winter break in progress, Barça trail Los Blancos by three points and have played a game more.
Should the trophy head to the Bernabeu this season, it will be only the second time since 2008.
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