Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger quick to dismiss Barcelona speculation
LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has brushed off talk that he could take over at Barcelona when Luis Enrique departs at the end of the season.
Wenger was linked with the job after Luis Enrique announced he would step down, with the manager's contract at Arsenal expiring in the summer.
He has said Arsenal's results until then will decide whether he stays, and he told a news conference on Thursday that he was not interested in a move to the Camp Nou.
"My preference has always been the same and will remain the same," he said. "I am not looking for jobs in other clubs or jobs off other people.
"I am focused on me, getting to the next level and trying to improve and always trying to see what you can do better and reinvent yourself. That's what I try to do. That's basically it."
Last month, Wenger said he intended to continue managing next season, either at Arsenal or elsewhere.
The 67-year-old, who has come under increasing pressure from fans after recent poor results, said he will make his final decision by April and stressed that he would respect the club's wishes.
"I have been here for 20 years and I had many times the opportunity to leave, so I don't think I have to convince you that my preference has always been Arsenal," he said.
"But of course I am objective and lucid enough to make the right decision for myself and the club as well.
"The club is free to make the decision it wants, and I will respect that."
Wenger added that he had been "disappointed" by Leicester City's decision to sack manager Claudio Ranieri, the man who led them to last season's stunning Premier League title win.
Ranieri was fired last week and Wenger said: "I was like everybody else in football -- surprised and disappointed.
"I take this opportunity to wish him well and congratulate him on what he has achieved with Leicester."
Wenger said he believed the struggling champions, who moved out of the relegation zone with victory over Liverpool on Monday, would avoid the drop.
"They are in a fight to stay in the Premier League but I think they have enough quality to stay in the league," he said.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.