Enrique leaves Celta amid Barcelona speculation
VIGO, Spain (AP) — Celta Vigo coach Luis Enrique is leaving the Spanish league club amid speculation that he will take over at Barcelona next season.
Barcelona can retain its Spanish league title with a victory against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, but even that possibility does not seem to be enough to secure the future of current coach Gerardo Martino.
Enrique’s exit follows a meeting with Barcelona sport director Andoni Zubizarreta last week. The 44-year-old Enrique, who made 62 appearances for Spain as a player, previously coached Barcelona B in the second division.
“I can’t confirm or deny anything,” Enrique said Friday. “Regarding my future, there is nothing to talk about. (But) if an interesting situation arises in the future, I will communicate it but not before certain things happen.”
In Barcelona, Martino said his mind is made up about the future no matter what happens against Atletico.
“With all of my heart I want Barcelona to be champion,” the Argentine coach said, “but my future will not really change regardless of the outcome of the match.”
Barcelona will finish the season without a trophy for the first time since 2008 if it does not manage to beat Atletico at the Camp Nou.
Celta plays its final game of the season on Saturday at Valencia.