Luis Enrique announces plans to leave Barcelona at the end of the season

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique made a shock announcement on Wednesday night, confirming that he will be leaving the Nou Camp come the end of the current La Liga campaign.

Give it my full dedication

Enrique has brought great success to the Catalan club since taking over in May 2014, with a total of eight trophies during his time at Barcelona including the famous treble in his first full season at the club.

The club are still battling in both the league and the Copa Del Rey, but he came under fire after the club's demoralising 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League which led to rumours of a possible exit.

Normal service resumed on Wednesday night with the 6-1 victory over Sporting Gijon, but surprised everyone stating his intentions of his exit but stated that he will remain dedicated for the final three months in the role.

"I will not be the coach of Barcelona next season," he announced to the press. "It is a difficult, measured and well thought out decision, and I think I have to be loyal to what I think."

"There are three exciting months ahead," he stated to his press conference. "I will give my full dedication in these three months."

"We accept Luis Enrique's decision," Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu confirmed. "He has been a great a coach."

"Now it is time to end his spell in the best possible way," he stated. "Luis Enrique has brought us great success."

"He can still bring us more," Bartomeu added. "The players are motivated to do it."

Support of the dressing room

With that announcement there are already front runners in place who look to take over after Enrique's exit, with Sevilla's former Chile boss Jorge Sampaoli leading the way alongside Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde.

However the task still remains for Enrique to finish his tenure with some silverware, and midfielder Ivan Rakitic stated that the manager has the support of the players.

"The coach came into the dressing room and told us before the press conference," Rakitic revealed to the press. "We were all left a bit open-mouthed."

"We didn't know he was going to announce it today," the Croatian admitted. "He has all the support of the dressing room."

"We will do everything we can," he concluded. "To do our best in the months to come."

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