?Chelsea wing back Marcos Alonso hasn’t helped douse the flames of speculation at Chelsea, with comments on Spanish radio in which he called Luis Enrique ‘a great coach’ who would be ‘good for any club’.
The treble-winning ex-Barcelona manager has been linked with the Chelsea job in recent weeks, with Antonio Conte looking increasingly likely to leave at the end of the campaign.
Chelsea have lost four of their last five in the Premier League, with speculation raging about the future of Conte – who has at times been vocal in his frustrations about club – and his potential successor.
Enrique was heavily touted for the Chelsea job in February, with ?reports even claiming the Spanish boss, who is currently taking a break from football, was looking for houses in London.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cope, Alonso’s comments, while generic, are likely to be used as further evidence of players losing faith in Conte and looking to the next manager in line.
“Luis Enrique has shown at Barcelona that he is a great coach with many qualities and I believe he would be good for any club, but I do not know him a lot on a personal level,” Alonso said, via the ?Daily Mail.
?Reports at the end of February suggested that Enrique, while keen on the prospect of succeeding Conte at Stamford Bridge, might have to accept significantly lower wages than those he was on at Barcelona.
A Telegraph report outlined that Enrique earned around £16.5m-a-year before exiting Barça, a figure significantly higher than the £9.5m Conte supposedly makes per annum.
Conte’s stock at Chelsea is an all-time low as the 2016/17 Premier League champions have fallen to fifth in the table, five points behind Tottenham.
Both Conte and his players came in for heavy criticism for the side’s lacklustre display against Manchester City at the weekend, as the Blues were easily dominated in a 1-0 defeat.
Eden Hazard ?seemed to level criticism at the manager’s tactics after the game by claiming Chelsea did not play to their ‘qualities’.
“I had the feeling that I’d ran, but that I hadn’t played a game of football. That’s a pity”, he said. “We could have played on for three hours, but I wouldn’t touch a ball. It only went better at the end of the game.
“We did not play with our qualities and if Alvaro Morata or Giroud is playing, it’s easier to play with long balls. But I’m trying to do the maximum.”