Luis Enrique's refusal to commit his future to Barça has forced the club to look at options that are available on the market, and the man leading the race to replace the Asturian at the moment, is Ernesto Valverde.
The Basque coach has emerged as a surprise target in the last few days, as the odds of Luis Enrique letting his contract run out continue to grow by the minute.
Athletic Club coach Ernesto Valverde is the potential replacement for Luis Enrique in case the latter does not renews his contract. [MARCA]— Barça News Forum (@BarcaNewsForum) December 29, 2016
Valverde has prior experience at the Camp Nou, having worn the Blaugrana for a short while, before moving to Athletic Club in 1990.
While the board is willing to let Enrique continue should he renew last minute, the clock is slowly ticking away as he enters into his last six months under contract which has forced the board to evaluate alternatives for security.
The 52-year-old Basque has had a decent win record, having led his team to victory in 87 out of 189 fixtures since he first took over in 2013, including the Supercopa de Espana final against Barcelona.
Valverde is on the same boat as Luis Enrique, as he enters the final six months of his contract, which should make him an easy acquisition in the scenario that Luis Enrique walks away.
While there is still time, and the situation could drastically change in the upcoming months, it looks like the board is prepared to cut it's ties with Lucho, should the need arise.