Rakitic backs Unzue as a sound choice for Barcelona coach

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Ivan Rakitic believes Juan Carlos Unzue would be a shrewd choice as the next head coach of Barcelona.

The 50-year-old is widely considered one of the favourites to succeed Luis Enrique when he steps down at the end of the season.

Unzue spent two years on Barca's books as a player before becoming assistant to Luis Enrique in 2014, helping the Catalans to win two domestic doubles and the Champions League in that time.

And Rakitic is confident that the former goalkeeper would be a good option given his experience of working with the players.

"I'm sure that the president and whoever has to choose the new coach will look for a person they believe in, who is calm," the midfielder told RAC-1.

"Juan Carlos is a person who has been here with us for years, who knows us well and who is already at the club. I'm sure that the club will decide things for the best and I'll be with them."

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde, Chile boss Juan Antonio Pizzi and Everton manager Ronald Koeman are among those most heavily linked with the Barca job for next season.

Barca host Villarreal at Camp Nou on Saturday looking to keep up the pressure on Real Madrid in the LaLiga title race.