LUIS ENRIQUE had intended to carry on as Spain boss after the World Cup, reports claim.
The 52-year-old was sacked following the last-16 penalty shootout defeat to Morocco.
But Enrique would still be in the position if he had his way, according to Spanish outlet COPE.
The former Barcelona gaffer was keen to right the wrongs from an awful World Cup campaign.
Spain won just one out of four games – a 7-0 thrashing against Costa Rica in their opening match.
They followed that promising result with a draw to Germany before a defeat against Japan saw them qualify for the last-16 in second place.
And that was where their campaign was ended at the hands of Morocco.
Enrique was then given his marching orders, despite reportedly wanting to carry on.
Spanish FA chiefs decided it was time for a change after the squad performed below expected levels.
U21s boss Luis de la Fuente was then quickly named as Enrique’s successor.
Enrique has today reportedly emerged as a candidate for the Atletico Madrid job.
A statement from the Spanish FA confirming Enrique’s departure read: “The sports management of the RFEF (Spanish FA) has transferred to the president a report in which it is determined that a new project should start for the Spanish Soccer Team.
“The aim is continuing with the growth achieved in recent years thanks to the work carried out by Luis Enrique and their collaborators.
“Both the president, Luis Rubiales, and the sports director, Jose Francisco Molina, have transmitted the decision to the coach.
“The Asturian coach managed to give a new impetus to the national team since his arrival, in 2018, through a profound renovation that has consolidated a generational change in the team and in Spanish football.”
The Spanish FA moved quickly to name Luis de la Fuente as Enrique’s successor