Luis Enrique has challenged former Barcelona youth team star Denis Suarez to prove he is good enough to play for the Camp Nou club while at Villarreal.
The attacking midfielder left the Camp Nou for Villarreal ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, but Barcelona have an option to re-sign him either at the end of this season or in 2017.
Suarez has put in some fine performances in recent weeks and Luis Enrique is closely monitoring his progress, with the youngster taking on his former team on Sunday.
“Time will tell whether Denis Suarez will return to Barcelona,” Luis Enrique said at a news conference.
“We are keeping a close eye on all the players we have sent out on loan and those with a re-buy option.
“We hope that he keeps on putting in good performances. It is not easy to return to Barcelona because we have the best players in the world, but in the end he is the one who determines where he ends up.”
Barcelona will be hoping to keep Suarez quiet in Sunday’s encounter at Camp Nou, but Luis Enrique realises Villarreal will pose a stern test.
“Villarreal are a complicated rival,” he added. “We had some difficult games against them last season.
“We have got some fine results in recent weeks, but the players all know that Villarreal will cause us problems if we are not at our best. It is not hard to motivate the players.”