Two favourites emerge for Barcelona job as superstar is going nowhere insists Spanish football expert

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Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague has held his weekly Q&A session and he has offered some interesting updates regarding Barcelona.

After Luis Enrique announced that he would step down from his position as coach at the end of the season, speculation has been rife as to who will replace him at the Nou Camp.

Not for the first time, it appears as though Balague is certain that it will come down to a decision between two men, Juan Carlos Unzue and Ernesto Valverde.

Both men have a grasp of the Barcelona culture and style, the former being a current coach while Valverde has previously played for the club, and Balague is convinced that it will be one of them who takes charge ahead of next season with Jorge Sampaoli ruled out.

“It is not certain. Nothing is with Barcelona right now,” he said, as noted by Sky Sports. “They are waiting to see when the right moment is to announce things. Sampaoli is out of the equation. Unzue and Valverde, but never together, are the favourites.

“Perhaps some fear it would not start the necessary recycling and would allow players to continue being unchallenged in their authority. Maybe, but, others ask, does Barcelona need a very interventionist coach? That is the debate taking place.”

Meanwhile, Balague also commented on Lionel Messi’s future which has been a hot topic of debate as he continues to stall on signing a new long-term contract at the club.

Interestingly, the Spanish football expert believes that the Argentine international has gone as close to leaving as possible, but having passed that point, he believes Messi will extend his stay in Barcelona and expects things to ramp up next month.

“I believe conversations with the club are advancing and I feel at the end of April it will receive a big push as new meetings will take place.

“No, he will stay. That is the plan for him and his family but he did think about leaving. He even started learning English!

“We have gone through a period where Messi has been the closest ever to leaving. He had not thought about it before, but considered it in recent seasons.”

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