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Luis Enrique confirms Celta Vigo exit

Luis Enrique has confirmed he is leaving Celta Vigo but refused to comment on whether he will take charge at Barcelona.

Luis Enrique will leave Celta Vigo after just one season in charge.
Luis Enrique will leave Celta Vigo after just one season in charge.

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Current Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino is widely expected to leave at the end of the current campaign, regardless of whether his team win Saturday's title decider against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Enrique, who played for Barca and coached their B team earlier in his career, is the favourite to replace Martino, especially after images of a recent meeting with Blaugrana sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta appeared in the local media.

The Asturian told his news conference ahead of Celta's final game of the season at Valencia on Saturday that he was moving on. He refused to go into details about his plans for the future but gave the impression he could soon be settling into his new job.

"I cannot confirm or deny anything," Enrique said. "There is nothing to talk about in terms of my future -- today is a sad day. Today I am Celta coach. It will be like this until the end of the season. If in the future a situation presents itself, I will communicate that, but until then it would be ridiculous to comment."

Celta, who just avoided relegation on the final day of the 2012-13 season, go into their last fixture of this campaign eighth in the table, and Enrique feels that is evidence of a job well done during his 12 months with the Galician club.

"I felt I must communicate my intentions to the club so that they have time to prepare," Enrique said. "There is no particular reason, but there are various factors. I have left my family in Barcelona and that is hard for me. For me to come to Vigo for a year, and to keep the team up comfortably, is enough for me.

"I have a very good group and I appreciate the blind faith they had with us. I know I am not a sympathetic character, but I must be honest in press conferences and when I go down the street I feel an indisputable warmth from the people."

AS reports that Enrique's contract allows him to leave for Barcelona without compensation, and that Celta are keen to maintain a good relationship with the Camp Nou outfit.

Rafinha, who came through the Barca academy, has starred at Balaidos this season, and it has been suggested that current Barca B midfielder Denis Suarez -- who left Celta for Manchester City in 2011 but joined Barca last summer -- could take a similar path next year.

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