BARCELONA are on course to unveil their next manager at the Copa del Rey final against Alaves on May 27.
The La Liga giants’ technical secretary Robert Fernandez insists he will choose Luis Enrique’s successor in the next 10 to 15 days.
Barca president Josep Bartomeu and the rest of the board will then confirm the choice and announce it at the last game of the season, according to Spanish outlet sport.es.
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Fernandez praised two of the men most likely to be candidates – Enrique’s current assistant manager Juan Carlos Unzue and Athletic Bilbao chief Ernesto Valverde.
And he also insisted he had “no doubt” Lionel Messi and long-serving Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta will sign new deals.
Fernandez said: “I will decide the next coach.”
On Unzue he added: “He’s a good option as he knows the club well, the players and the system. He is someone who is prepared and knows where he is.”
And of Valverde, whose Athletic side are sixth in la Liga, Fernandez said: “He has had good seasons, at Athletic and other clubs. He is a serious character and a good coach.”
Valverde, a Barcelona team-mate of Fernandez between 1998-1990, has also bossed Espanyol, Olympiakos twice, Villarreal and Valencia.
Fernandez, though, is just as focused on extending the deals of pass master Iniesta, 32, and Argentinian superstar Messi, 29.
He said: “Leo is happy in Barcelona and he is in a magnificent team.
“Iniesta and Messi will sign new contracts. I don’t have any doubt.”
Barcelona top La Liga on goal difference from Real Madrid, who have a game in hand.
And Real are in the Champions League semi-finals whilst Barca went out 3-0 on aggregate to Juventus in the last round.