Laudrup, who won four Primera Division titles in five years as a player with Barcelona between 1989-94, tried to fend off questions about the link.
"I can't comment on the speculation, it's all just happened today and even for those in the club who maybe knew about the situation, I still think the announcement will have come as a shock," Laudrup said.
"Just a few weeks ago I read he had said he was strong and feeling 100 per cent ahead of the new season, but now he's gone. I don't know what they're going to do, so let's see.
"I don't know Vilanova personally but of course I have been following what has happened. It's very sad. I don't know much more than what has been announced tonight.
"I hope he will get fit again as this is only football and life is more important."