PSG boss Luis Enrique shrugs off Barcelona speculation

By Sports Desk May 18, 2024

Paris Saint-Germain boss Luis Enrique is fully focused on what is going on in France, and not paying attention to the situation at Barcelona.

Reports this week suggested Barca may look to replace Xavi with PSG coach Luis Enrique, who led the Blaugrana to success during his stint in charge between 2014 and 2017.

However, the former Spain coach is not interested in any speculation.

Speaking ahead of PSG's trip to Metz on Sunday, he said: "I have already given my opinion on Ligue 1, which is much more competitive than I heard.

"It is clear that there is a high level, with many excellent players. I was pleasantly surprised by the level, including the physical aspect, the coaches and the players.

"I only look at what’s happening in France. I don't know [about Barcelona], I don't comment."

Kylian Mbappe, who is leaving the club at the end of the season, missed PSG's win over Nice in midweek due to a hamstring issue.

Bradley Barcola stepped up in Mbappe's absence, scoring and providing an assist in the 2-1 victory, and the 21-year-old has also been called up for France's Euro 2024 squad.

"Barcola can improve everywhere, like the rest of the players, but above all Bradley is a very young player," Luis Enrique said.

"One thing that I really like is that when you sign a youngster from another team, it's something that seems easy to accept such a challenge but it is very difficult.

"You must understand that the level to be a starter is higher. When a young player like Bradley accepts that and with the performances he has already achieved, I think it's nice to see him at the Euros.

"He deserves it. Next year, the challenge will be even bigger. Our goal for next season will be to look for other [signings], so they are in competition with those already present."

Luis Enrique also knows he will have to adapt to life without Mbappe, who seems destined to join Real Madrid.

"Without a doubt. One of the characteristics of a coach is to adapt," he said.

"We prepared for this group of players but now, with those we can sign and those we already have, there will be tactical changes to come with an undoubtedly more balanced team. There is still room for improvement, in defence and attack."

However, PSG will not limit themselves to signing younger players, but instead base their recruitment on the level of talent they are aiming to bring in.

"We don't sign players based on their age but on their talent," Luis Enrique added. "We sign talent!

"The transfer window will present us with different options and depending on what will be best for the team, we will try to strengthen ourselves. I also like the 30 or 35-year-old players who give a good level for the team. They are all young if you compare them to the coach."

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