Timeline
Tensions mount for Luis Enrique ahead of Copa clash
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Posted on 10 January 2015 05:10 by mr. Dave
Guardiola, Klopp, Koeman, De Boer, Pellegrini? Speculation over who will be Barcelona's coach next season continues with new names in the frame seemingly every day. One thing, however, is almost certain - it won't be Luis Enrique.

With elections to take place in the summer, only a win for current chief Josep Maria Bartomeu could conceivably keep the Asturian coach in a job. That is, of course, if the 44-year-old can complete the season at the Catalan club.

And even that is not a foregone conclusion following a recent bust-up with Lionel Messi and a deteriorating relationship with the local media.

Wednesday's press conference ahead of the Copa del Rey last-16 second-leg clash at Elche was another tense affair in which the Barca boss was forced to field questions on Messi's future, a team without Leo, problems with the club psychologist and dressing room discontent.

"I don't feed controversy," Luis Enrique said several times. "I am just focused on this season and on seeing how far we can get."

The fact that Bartomeu brought forward elections by a year means Guardiola will not be returning to the club either as coach or in the role of sporting director at this stage, while Goal understands Pellegrini is not interested in leaving Manchester City at the moment.

Klopp is a candidate admired by both Bartomeu and Joan Laporta, who is expected to stand and will almost certainly return to power if he does. The German coach has said in the past he would not leave Borussia Dortmund, but may decide it is now time to move on after what is proving a complicated campaign in 2014-15.

Koeman and De Boer are also attractive alternatives as Barca old boys who know the club inside out. Just like Luis Enrique.

"The dressing room is united," the Asturian added on Wednesday. "From the very beginning we have looked for the best climate possible and that is what there is inside."

However, Goal can reveal that it was one of the players that leaked information about the fall-out between Messi and Luis Enrique to the press, with many of the squad against the current coach.

And that was perhaps summed up best by Bojan Krkic, the former Barca attacker now at Stoke but still in close contact with several of his former team-mates.

"Luis Enrique is a very uncommunicative coach," he said this week. "He lacks understanding with the players. He was also a player and he should know what it feels like to be in a dressing room.

"He has a clear idea, working with his staff daily away from the players and there is little dialogue. Everyone has a different type of training and this is his."

When the former Celta coach was under consideration for the Barca job in 2013, several senior players expressed their reservations due to the Asturian's prickly personality and it now appears some of those fears have been realised in what remains a tense atmosphere at the club. 

Sunday's 3-1 win over Atletico was probably the team's finest performance of the season and such results will help for now. But with tension growing and unrest building, it might merely have been a temporary reprieve for Luis Enrique.

Source: www.goal.com

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