Jorge Sampaoli dreams of coaching Lionel Messi, Monchi to leave Sevilla

Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli has dropped the strongest hint yet that he is keen to replace Luis Enrique at Barcelona.

Sampaoli is rumoured to be on the shortlist of candidates to replace the Spaniard who will be stepping down as Barca coach at the end of the season.

He is also rumoured to be among the candidates to replace Argentina's Edgardo Bauza, should the Argentina federation make any changes.

The former Chile coach has yet to accept Sevilla's offer to extend his contract for another year, with his current deal expiring in June 2018.

It does look like Sampaoli is angling for the Barca job when he made known his "dream" of working with five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi this week.

"My dream is to be in charge of Messi to see him every day from the touchline," Sampaoli told Diario Ole.

"It's a unique dream to see Messi so close up, always.

"The form Messi is in is incredible. Who wouldn't like to be in charge of him? If you help a determining player be happy, you have 95 percent of the game sorted.

"These are like the days in which Maradona was good. It's very difficult for a team, when Leo is good, to lose."

While Sampaoli's future is uncertain, Sevilla have already been dealt a significant blow with the impending departure of sporting director Monchi.

Monchi is widely regarded as the man who nurtured the likes of Jose Antonio Reyes, Sergio Ramos and Jesus Navas since assuming the role in 2000.

He made known his intentions to leave the club at the end of the 2015-16 season but his request was rejected.

Club president Jose Castro will be holding a news conference on Friday to confirm Monchi's exit.