Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Luis Enrique: Barcelona know who I want

SoccerNews in La Liga 16 Jan 2016

Luis Enrique says Barcelona are aware of his transfer targets for January but he will not insist on deals being completed.

The Camp Nou boss admitted earlier this month that he was keen to add another striker to his squad, despite boasting a first-choice front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Celta Vigo forward Nolito and Villarreal’s Denis Suarez continue to be heavily linked with the European champions, while talk of big-money moves for Paul Pogba and John Stones continues to surface.

Luis Enrique says he has made his intended signings clear to the club directors but accepts that January is a difficult time to secure top targets.

“The club already knows what we need,” he told the media on Saturday. “It’s not that I want this player and it has to be that way. There is a price, you have to be reasonable and different circumstances affect things. But I’ll keep doing my work.

“There’s always a possibility that players can come and go when the market opens.”

Barca face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday looking to hang on to top spot in La Liga, before they travel to San Mames next week for the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash.

Luis Enrique’s side were denied the chance of winning the sextuple in 2015 when Athletic beat them in the Spanish Supercup, and the 45-year-old believes that will serve as good motivation for his players.

“We’re used to playing against Athletic. I’ve done this so many times. We know them and it’s difficult for both of us,” he continued.

“We’ll focus on the Liga game because it’s important for us to stay top. The players know the type of game they will face and the type of effort they’ll need to put in. 

“They are the team that stopped the sextuple. If we’re looking for motivation, they are one of the teams who have beaten us well.

“Ernesto Valverde is a great coach. He has a very similar idea to our own, with his nuances, adapting things to the team.

“When you play against Athletic you know there is no easy ball. They’re a well-drilled team, they know what to do in every moment of the game.

“They know how to stop our type of game but, when we’ve been at our level, we have overcome them.”

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