Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has refused to deny rumours regarding his alleged rift with Lionel Messi while revealing that his own job at Camp Nou was not under pressure following Andoni Zubizarreta‘s sacking.
According to reports, Lionel Messi and Luis Enrique have fallen out spectacularly with the manager benching the Argentine superstar after he failed to turn up for the open training session. Messi was dropped for the game against Real Sociedad and it was reported that Luis Enrique wanted to take action against Lionel Messi but was convinced otherwise by club captains Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets.
Speaking before Barcelona’s game against Elche, Luis Enrique refused to deny the rumours surrounding his alleged rift with Messi by claiming that he believed in the sanctity of the dressing room.
“I neither confirm nor deny them. What happens within the team should always stay in the dressing room.”
“Leo Messi is the best player in the world and in the squad. Things have changed but it is up to you to speak to parties involved.”
“I’m not going to disclose what is said within the dressing room.”
With Barcelona sacking Zubizarreta amidst an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad, Luis Enrique admitted that nothing was going right for the Catalan club at the present moment.
“At the moment it just seems to be negative vibes, nothing positive.”
“I don’t think I should be asked to confirm any, or deny any, of these rumours. It would stir up more problems than it would solve.”
“Things are going to happen during the season and it is up to us to sort it out.”
There are also strong rumours which suggest that Luis Enrique has received an ultimatum from the Barcelona management and has only two games to save his job and restore normalcy at the club. But the Barcelona manager has denied these rumours and believes that the situation is optimistic for the club.
“I haven’t received an ultimatum from the President. I’ve never had any such threat in my entire career.”
“For me, the situation is optimistic – we’re alive in all three competitions. I’ve got no complaints about our fans.”
Luis Enrique however is aware that he needs to perform in order to keep his job at Barcelona.
“A coach’s future always hinges on results. I feel supported both by the club and by the players. We’re in a promising situation. We’re in the thick of every competition and have real chances [of winning them]. I can understand a bit of disillusionment having set in among the fans after the last match, though [the 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad]: that’s normal.”
However despite Luis Enrique suggesting that he is still fully ‘supported’ at Barcelona, reports suggest that Enrique is likely to receive the sacking after the game against Atletico Madrid.
Josep Maria Bartomeu is due to speak to the media soon and it is reported that he will announce Luis Enrique’s sacking in order to ensure that Lionel Messi stays at Camp Nou as reports link the superstar with a move to Chelsea FC.