With the season nearing a close and Luis Enrique leaving at the end, Barcelona are no closer to finding his replacement. Despite still being in the hunt for the La Liga title and currently level on points with Real Madrid at the top, the Barca boss confirmed in March that he will leave the Catalan club after three seasons. Since his announcement, there has been a constant mill of rumours as to who will take over the hot seat with the latest potential candidate, Everton manager Ronald Koeman, is ruling himself out of the running, although hopes to lead out his former side in the future.

But for now, Barcelona desperately need to find a replacement for Enrique, before pre-season next year, and here are four managers that could get the nod.

Juan Carlos Unzue – the insider

To start with Unzue is the typical Barcelona managerial appointment; a man that has played for the club and the man that is currently coaching at the club. Pep Guardiola was the Barcelona B coach before he led the senior side to one of their best spells the club has ever had, and then there was Tito Vilanova, who was the assistant to the now-Manchester City boss prior to taking over the reins. Current manager Enrique is also a former Barcelona player, and his assistant Unzue is tipped to be among the contenders to replace him.

Unzue only spent two years at Barcelona as a player, mainly spending his time on the bench as a back-up goalkeeper, in just five league games between 1988 and 1990.

He returned to Barca to become goalkeeping coach in 2005, staying until 2010, but following failed managerial experiences at Numancia and Racing Santander, Unzue re-joined the Nou Camp outfit as number two to Enrique.

Although he lacks the managerial success as per the others on this list, he has Barcelona in his blood, has been able to learn under the current boss and he knows the players and their style.

Arsene Wenger – The Old Guard

There has been speculation over whether Arsene Wenger will finally leave Arsenal for many years, but there has been a lot more impetus on him to call it time on his illustrious yet frustrating time at the Gunners.

Arsenal are guaranteed to finish below their biggest rivals for the first time since the 1995 this season, and with Wenger’s current contract running out at the end of the campaign, the Gunners’ fans have been vocal in their attempts to prevent him from signing a new deal.

It may sound odd for a manager who has failed to win the league in 13 years with a club the size of Arsenal and with their financial security, to be linked with a move to Barcelona, but Wenger still has a brilliant reputation for playing attractive football and getting the best out of youngsters and unknown players.

The 67-year-old Frenchman is not a long-term option but is a safe pair of hands for ensuring that Barca stay true to their identity and he is well revered by his peers and players all over the world.

Mauricio Pochettino – the new kid on the block

On the other side of North London is a manager that has rapidly risen to fame and earned many plaudits for his playing style, working with youngsters and results on the pitch.

It is no secret that the reason Tottenham Hotspur have become title contenders is because of former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino and it was his intuition and gamble that saw the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier go from backup players to regular starters and potential world-class stars.

Although Pochettino’s past spells as a player and manager at Barcelona’s rivals Espanyol it will not sit well with the club’s diehard fans. His tactical thinking and management style is similar to the Catalan club and it would be the next step up for a manager who is only going to get better.

An added bonus for Barcelona would also be the potential of Pochettino bringing some of his current players with him, with Barca having previously cast their eye over Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.

Jorge Sampaoli – the outsider

He is not a manager that Barcelona would typically look at, but there is no denying that he has worked wonders with Sevilla since taking over at the start of the season.

The Andalusian club finished seventh last year, but were, at one point, ahead of Barcelona in the table this time around. They currently sit in fourth but are just three points behind Atletico Madrid as they hope to secure an automatic Champions League place.

It is not just the league position that has impressed people about Argentine Sampaoli, but also his management style of being able to bring the best out of his players.

Samir Nasri was stuck on the bench at Manchester City last season and not enjoying his football, but has been reinvigorated by Sampaoli, through being allowed the room and freedom to roam around in the midfield.

He is far more aggressive than previous Barcelona managers and while he is not a former Barcelona player, Sampaoli insists his players have an intensity that never dies throughout the 90 minutes and could be a surprise option for Barca. However, they will need to move quickly, as the Argentina Football Association have said that he is the man they have chosen to manage the national side.