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Luis Enrique eyes time out, not new job after Barca

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Barcelona’s coach Luis Enrique arrives for a press conference after a training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona on April 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PAU BARRENA

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique hinted he will follow Pep Guardiola’s lead by taking a sabbatical rather than seeking a new job when he steps down at the end of the season.

Enrique announced last month he will not renew his contract at Camp Nou despite winning eight trophies in his three-year reign and with the possibility of adding three more in La Liga, Champions League and the Copa del Rey in his final months in charge.

“If I am leaving Barca, which is my home, and with a great relationship with the club, my players and more, it is not to go to another team,” Enrique said on Tuesday on the eve of his side’s clash with Sevilla.

“I have been clear that it is simply due to fatigue and the need to rest. Where am I going to go that is better than here?”

Manchester City manager Guardiola also took a year out following his glorious four-year spell in charge between 2008 and 2012 citing fatigue before taking over at Bayern Munich.

Both Enrique and Guardiola also started their coaching careers at Barca B and won the treble in their first season in charge with the senior side, but Enrique was less successful than his former teammate in one-season spells at Roma and Celta Vigo.

Enrique’s route to a second treble is a difficult one as Barca trail Real Madrid by two points, who also have a game in hand, in the La Liga title race and face Juventus in the Champions League quarter-finals this month.

Alaves stand between the Catalans and a third straight Copa del Rey in the final on May 27.

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