Real Sociedad coach Eusebio Sacristan rules out move to Barcelona
Eusebio Sacristan says he wants to stay at Real Sociedad amid reports suggesting he is in the running to return to Barcelona and replace Luis Enrique at the end of the season.
Luis Enrique confirmed after Barca's 6-1 win against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday that he would not extend his stay at Camp Nou beyond the June expiry of his contract.
Thoughts immediately turned to who will take his place in the dugout next season, with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealing the search will start immediately.
Athletic Bilbao's Ernesto Valverde and Sevilla's Jorge Sampaoli are the early favourites in the local press, although Eusebio, who played for the club under Johan Cruyff and coached Barcelona's B team until 2015, has also been tipped as a candidate.
However, with La Real fighting for a Champions League spot this season, he recently signed a new contract, extending his stay in San Sebastian until 2019, and he insists he wants to honour it.
"I said when I renewed my contract, my mind and my spirit are with Real Sociedad," he told a news conference ahead of Friday's game against Real Betis. "My head is here, 100 percent, so there's nothing [with Barca] and there is not going to be."
Pressed on if there's a clause in his new deal which would allow him to leave, he added: "It doesn't matter what my contract says [about release clause], it's my desire to continue with this project with La Real.
"The idea is to do something important and I want to be here for a long time."
Eusebio also had praise for Luis Enrique, who has won eight trophies since taking charge of Barca in 2014 and could still end this season with three more.
"You have to congratulate Luis for the work he's done during his time at Camp Nou," he said.
"When the season ends he will be remembered as a great manager and everyone connected to Barcelona will be eternally grateful."
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.