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Thursday 8 December 2016

Barcelona president: We want Luis Enrique to stay on as coach

Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique centre, waves from the team bus during celebrations in Barcelona, Spain Sunday June 7, 2015 after winning the Champions League final soccer match Saturday by beating Juventus Turin 3-1
Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique centre, waves from the team bus during celebrations in Barcelona, Spain Sunday June 7, 2015 after winning the Champions League final soccer match Saturday by beating Juventus Turin 3-1

Barcelona president Jose Maria Bartomeu is confident Luis Enrique will continue as coach after leading the club to a historic treble this season, but admits Dani Alves' future is more uncertain.

Luis Enrique replaced Tata Martino last summer and made a lasting imprint with the Catalan giants, as they became the first outfit ever in Europe to win a treble twice after Pep Guardiola steered Barca to a Primera Division, Champions League and Copa del Rey haul six years ago.

Luis Enrique is under contract for another season but has been reluctant to confirm if he will stay on for the 2015/16 campaign.

However, Bartomeu told Catalunya Radio: "I have no doubt regarding Luis Enrique's continuity. He is under contract and has done a magnificent job.

"I don't see any impediments for him to continue in a team who have started a winning cycle. I see him as being very enthusiastic.

"If I am re-elected as president, one of the things I will do is offer Luis Enrique a contract extension."

Barca have presidential elections coming up this summer.

As for Brazil international Alves, who has distinguished himself as one of the team's top players throughout his seven years at the club, Bartomeu is in the dark as to what the player will do.

Alves is now a free agent and has been offered a contract extension to remain at the Nou Camp, but the 32-year-old right-back has been linked with Manchester United, Paris St Germain and AC Milan.

"He has our offer and we believe it's a good one for him to continue in the best club in the world," Bartomeu said. "It's up to Alves to decide.

He has had our offer for several weeks now and he has to make the move. It's our final offer, there will be no other."

Barcelona, meanwhile, have not made an approach for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, according to Bartomeu.

Pogba is one of the most sought after players in European football and is tied to Italian champions Juve until 2019.

The Frenchman started in Juve's 3-1 defeat to Barca in Saturday's Champions League final.

"Pogba has a contract and is an emblematic player of Juventus," Bartomeu said. "We haven't tried to sign Pogba, although we are monitoring him."

Barcelona made their first acquisition on Monday by signing Spanish winger Aleix Vidal from Sevilla for 18million euros.

Vidal, who helped Sevilla defend their Europa League title this season, has signed a five-year contract with Barca.

The 25-year-old will not be able to play for his new club until January 2016 due to a ban imposed on the Catalan giants by FIFA for breaching rules on signing international players under the age of 18.

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