Luis Enrique threatens to quit Barcelona

Following reports the club are ready to bring his time in charge to an abrupt end, the Spaniard has issued a firm response

Luis Enrique has threatened to quit Barcelona if he doesn’t have the 100% backing of the club’s players, following reports of a meeting between president Josep Bartomeu and Lionel Messi.

The pair met following the 5-0 victory over Elche on Thursday night, with a Spanish television station claiming the Barca chief had promised to axe the coach following Sunday’s clash with Atletico Madrid.

Luis Enrique has now reacted to the latest round of rumours by revealing he will walk away if all of his players are not in support of his leadership.

“I work everyday 100 per cent but I assure you that I’ll quit if my players don’t follow me,” he said.

“That hasn’t happened during my career as coach. The players and technical team, we are not involved in these aspects.

A tumultuous week off the pitch at Barcelona saw sporting director Andoni Zubizaretta sacked, his assistant and club legend Carles Puyol quit and presidential elections brought forward a year in the aftermath.

This latest episode followed on from the news the Catalans’ appeal against an 18-month transfer ban had been rejected, but Luis Enrique attempted to put a positive spin on recent events.

“We are just focused on the things we can improve, and we avoid everything that is not positive.

“I know this is not against me, it is against everything that surrounds Barcelona.

“This situations have happened in past seasons, and will happen again.”

The former Roma boss was booed by supporters at Camp Nou despite Thursday’s thumping win, while Frank Rijkaard, who gave Messi his debut back in 2004, has been tipped as a possible replacement.