While reports in England are all in agreement that Conte isn’t getting sacked just yet, certainly not this week and not before a potentially fateful encounter (right, AVB and RDM?) with West Bromwich Albion on Monday, reports in Spain (in Barcelona, to be exact) are pushing full steam ahead on the Luis Enrique bandwagon. The football player and manager, not the singer, to be clear. Yo no se mañanaaaaa...
Yesterday, Barcelona-based SPORT claimed that Luis Enrique was just “one step” away from the job (and perhaps just a “matter of hours”, even) and while he has quite clearly not taken said step, they have now doubled down on that notion and seem quite certain that Lucho will be in charge at Stamford Bridge before the month’s out. Specifically, they put forward a rather fateful first match in charge, namely the first leg of the Round of 16 knockout tie against his former club.
SPORT claims that Lucho was identified as the top target a month ago and Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has been in talks with him for two weeks (presumably taking a break to deal with all of Chelsea’s transfer shenanigans in the meantime but let’s not worry too much about the logistical details). Chelsea apparently like that Luis Enrique is an “outsider” (i.e. not Guus Hiddink), that he was able to deal with the egos of MSN (Messi-Suarez-Neymar), and that he has something to prove for all those who doubt his coaching credentials — after all, he was only successful with Barca, and less so with AS Roma and Celta de Vigo (or Barca B, for that matter).
There is no word on how they feel about Lucho’s suit-and-trainers fashion
faux pas statements, but surely that alone should rule him out of the running.
Being Barcelona-based lends some credence to SPORT’s claims, though every time this publication’s name comes up, I’m reminded of their Torres-looking-at-Torres-to-Barcelona cover story — TORRESCEPTION, we must go deeper — which is still hilarious to this day, 4.5 years later.