Jupp Heynckes has ruled himself out of the running for the Barcelona job.
Heynckes left Bayern this summer having secured the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal in his final campaign. The 68-year-old initially indicated he would take a “vacation” from the game before clarifying in Der Spiegel that he would not make a return to coaching.
However, following the news of Tito Vilanova’s departure from Barcelona on Friday, Heynckes — who led Real Madrid to Champions League glory in 1998 — was named the preferred successor in a fan poll in Catalan newspaper Sport.
Heynckes, though, maintains he is ready to enjoy his retirement and would not be tempted by the chance to lead the Blaugrana
“I'm keeping myself busy with hobbies and sport. I have my animals and a huge garden,” he told Germany's Sky Sport News. “I think it would be impossible for me, after working at Bayern Munich, now to take over a new club.
“I have understood the signals my body has been giving me and I am feeling good, enjoying the time I have for myself.”
Former Paraguay manager Gerardo Martino, reported to be Lionel Messi’s favoured choice, is thought to be a leading candidate for the role, but Celta Vigo coach Luis Enrique is also being strongly linked with the position.
Enrique, 43, enjoyed an impressive three-year stint as Barcelona B coach between 2008 and 2011 before joining Roma, which proved less successful.
He was appointed Celta boss only last month but Abelardo, his former Barca and Spain team-mate, believes he would welcome a switch to the Camp Nou.
“I haven’t spoken to Luis Enrique yet, but it’s an opportunity that Luis Enrique cannot miss,” he told Cadena Cope. “He played for the club and lives in Barcelona.”
Reports claim Barcelona officials are to speak to both Martino and Enrique.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.