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Saudi Arabia
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Celta: No Barca approach for Enrique

Celta Vigo vice-president Ricardo Barrios says Barcelona have not yet asked about taking coach Luis Enrique to the Camp Nou next season, although reports suggest the Galician club will not stand in the way of any deal.

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With Gerardo Martino reportedly set to leave after just one year by mutual consent in the summer, Barca have begun a search for a replacement, with a meeting between sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and Enrique in Catalonia on Monday being widely reported in the Spanish media.

The former Barca B and Roma boss has impressed in his first season in charge of Celta, overcoming a tricky start to guide the Galician outfit into the top half of the table, and his candidacy became especially strong after Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde reportedly turned down an initial approach from Zubizarreta.

Barrios told Marca there had been no official approach from Barca for his club's current boss, and anyway any talks about the future would have to wait until the season ends.

"Barcelona have not spoken with us," he said. "The president [Carlos Mourino] is away and we are all happy with the team's season. There is no Plan B, our Plan A is Luis Enrique, because he has a year more on his contract. There is absolutely nothing to say because Luis Enrique is the Celta coach. We have not planned to meet with him, until the league is over there will be nothing."

Barrios said he was not concerned by Monday's widely publicised meeting, where former Barca and Spain teammates Zubizarreta and Enrique were reported to have discussed plans for next season including players who could be bought or sold.

"Here nobody is worried," he said. "Luis Enrique is the coach of Celta. I cannot comment on that meeting in Barcelona. For us he is still the coach of our team and there is absolutely nothing else. That meeting did not seem neither good nor bad to us."

Despite these protestations, Marca claim that Celta's board are keen to maintain a relationship which has seen ex-La Masia starlets such as Nolito, Andreu Fontas and Rafinha impress for their club this season.

Former Celta youth-teamer Denis Suarez, 20, who spent two less than fruitful years at Manchester City but has impressed at Barca B last season, could also be back at Balaidos next year the reports suggest.

Continuing the connection is former Camp Nou favourite and current Recreativo de Huelva coach Sergi Barjuan being among the frontrunners to be Celta boss next year, according to Mundo Deportivo.


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