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Juan Carlos Unzue 'enthusiastic' about replacing Luis Enrique - brother

Juan Carlos Unzue has support from Barcelona players to replace Luis Enrique.

Juan Carlos Unzue is "very enthusiastic" about the possibility of succeeding Luis Enrique as Barcelona coach next season, according to his brother.

El Mundo Deportivo reported this week that Unzue, who is Barcelona's assistant coach, and his former Barca teammates Ernesto Valverde, Ronald Koeman and Eusebio Sacristan are the main candidates to replace Luis Enrique this summer.

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

Eusebio Unzue, who is the manager of professional cycling team Movistar Team, told Cadena Cope radio: "I see my brother Juan Carlos very eager and enthusiastic to coach Barca.

"I see him able to do so and looking forward to taking on the challenge."

Unlike the other contenders, Unzue, who became Luis Enrique's No. 2 at Celta Vigo in 2013, has limited experience as a first-team coach. He spent one season in charge of Segunda Division side Numancia and two months at the helm of Racing Santander.

However, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique have said they would welcome Unzue's appointment and Luis Enrique recently stated he would not be "angry" if the former Barca goalkeeper succeeded him.

Unzue played two seasons for Barca and worked as the goalkeeping coach under former coaches Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola.

The Catalan club opted for continuity when they appointed assistant coach Tito Vilanova to replace Guardiola in 2012 and have not ruled out following the same path this summer by putting Unzue in charge.

"Juan Carlos is someone who knows the club, the players and the system very well," Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez told Cadena Cope earlier this week. "He is ready and has proved it for some time now."

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

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