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Sergio Busquets confident Barcelona will pick right Luis Enrique replacement

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is confident the club will find the right man to replace coach Luis Enrique this summer.

El Mundo Deportivo reported on Wednesday that former Barca players Ernesto Valverde, Juan Carlos Unzue, Ronald Koeman and Eusebio Sacristan are the final contenders to succeed Luis Enrique and that the Catalan club will not make a decision until next month.

All four played together at Barcelona in the 1989-90 campaign under Johan Cruyff.

Luis Enrique, who has won eight out of 10 titles since taking the helm in 2014, announced earlier this month that he will leave the post at the end of the season.

"There is going to be a change as the coach is leaving and there are a few candidates," Busquets told Cadena Cope radio. "The club will decide who is best for the post. I'm certain it will go well."

Busquets' teammates Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique said they would welcome the appointment of Luis Enrique's assistant Juan Carlos Unzue.

A former Barca goalkeeper, Unzue worked as the goalkeeping coach under former coaches Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola. He coached Segunda Division side Numancia for one season.

Barca opted for continuity when they appointed assistant coach Tito Vilanova to replace Guardiola in 2012 and could follow the same path this summer if they put Unzue in charge.

Busquets says the Barca players may have some good insight to the candidates and the club could ask them for information.

"I think if the club is interested in a coach that a player has had, if they don't have many references, they perhaps could ask for his opinion," the Spain international said. "But always in terms of reference, not when it comes to making a decision on one coach or the other."

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez insists he will have the final say as to who will take the Barca hot seat this summer.

He told Cadena Ser Cataluna: "It's clear that I will sit down with the president and other executives and we will talk about what the best option is for the team, but I will be the one to make the decision."

Valverde, whose contract with Athletic Bilbao expires this summer, has remained tight-lipped about the future.

The 53-year-old is in his second spell in charge of the Basque outfit.

"I don't know Ernesto but I respect him because he is coaching a club and that club deserves our respect," Busquets said.

"We all know Juan Carlos [Unzue], we know he has had experience as a first team coach although not at an elite club.

"He has been part of the coaching staff of great managers who have won a lot. He has been important and he knows the club well."

Fernandez, who played alongside Unzue and Valverde at Barcelona between 1988 and 1990 said of the two coaches: "Juan Carlos is someone who knows the club, the players and the system very well. He is ready and has proved it for some time now.

"Valverde has done a great job, not only at Athletic but in the other teams he has coached.

"He is knowledgeable and is a serious person, definitely a great coach."

The other two reported candidates are Netherlands legend Koeman and former Spain international Eusebio.

Koeman has always stated his wish to coach Barcelona one day but signed a three-year contract with Everton last summer.

Eusebio signed a new contract earlier this year until June 2019 to remain at the helm of La Liga side Real Sociedad and the deal reportedly includes a release clause of €5 million.

Eusebio, who has been in charge of the Basque outfit since November 2015, said earlier this month said that he would not return to Barca any time soon and pledged his future at La Real.

He said: "My mind, my spirit and my energy is placed on this team and I will continue here for many years to come".

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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