Enrique dismisses speculation claiming Madrid want Neymar
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique brushed off speculation claiming Real Madrid want Neymar to follow in Luis Figo’s footsteps by swapping Camp Nou for the Santiago Bernabeu.
Reports in Spain have suggested Madrid president Florentino Perez is eager to lure the Brazil captain to the Spanish capital in a move reminiscent of Figo’s controversial switch in 2000.
Neymar’s Barca deal runs until 2018 and, with discussions over a renewal ongoing, Luis Enrique dismissed the transfer talk.
"Those are just parts of the typical football rumor mill," he told reporters.
Leader Barcelona returns to La Liga action against Real Betis on Wednesday following its Club World Cup victory in Japan this month.
With their domestic, Champions League and Copa del Rey title defenses all in good shape, Luis Enrique is buoyed by the condition of his squad ahead of the second half of the season.
"I’ve always said in these situations, especially after seeing them train yesterday [Monday] and today [Tuesday], that everyone looks fresh and hungry and ambitious," he added.
"I don’t think we could be any better. I won’t be extremely optimistic but I see them on the right path at the end of the year.
"We’ll see if we can convert that into performances on the pitch."