Former Spain and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has revealed a desire to work in the Premier League while unveiling himself as something of an Anglophile.

Four-and-a-half years after he was first appointed, Enrique permanently left his post as manager of the Spanish men’s national team following La Roja’s galling World Cup penalty shootout defeat to surprise package Morocco in the round of 16. Enrique was first hired after Spain exited the 2018 tournament in Russia to the hosts on penalties at the same stage of the competition.

Personal issues forced Enrique to take a leave of absence for nine months in 2019 but the former Barcelona and Real Madrid midfielder returned to steer his nation to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, losing out to eventual champions Italy on, you guessed it, penalties.

Enrique revealed he was stepping down from the national team post two days after the defeat to Morocco in Qatar and went three months without returning to the footballing sphere. The 52-year-old detailed his budding interest in all things English to the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser after returning from the gruelling Cape Epic cycle ride in South Africa which, according to Enrique, consisted of eight days of mountain biking over 658km.

Luis de la Fuente, Enrique’s successor as Spain manager, won his debut match against Norway but suffered a shock defeat to Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night. Enrique claimed that he didn’t watch either game – with his focus aimed at the other side of Hadrian’s Wall.

“I follow English football a lot, more than Spanish,” he revealed. “I am clearly influenced because I would like to work there.”

Enrique has previously expressed an interest in dipping his toe into Premier League waters. “I’d like to manage in England at some point,” he said in 2013. “My wife wouldn’t like the weather, she’s from Barcelona and likes the sun. It would depend on the team and the football they played.”

Tottenham Hotspur have a clear vacancy after the departure of Antonio Conte during the March international break, with his former assistant Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason put in interim charge until the end of the season. Enrique has also been linked to Chelsea in the past but Graham Potter managed to keep his position despite a ruinous run of form.

However, Enrique was quick to stress that he would not aimlessly leap into any empty seat in the English top flight.

“I am not going to go to any team,” the 2015 Champions League winner explained. “I would like to go to someone who has clear options to do important things and that reduces the equation to a very small number [of teams]. In addition, there are many coaches worldwide at a high level who want to train there. I’m under no illusions, but you never know.”


Enrique revealed that he has had ‘some offers from national teams, not clubs’. The patriotic Asturian manager admitted that he is reluctant to take over another nation because he would have to be very ‘strong’ to come up against Spain.

The former Barcelona treble winner also quashed any suggestions that he was next in line to take charge of Brazil: “Today the rumour becomes news and no one from Brazil has contacted me.”

Never one to mince his words, Enrique described the critics which were plentiful during his tenure in charge of Spain as ‘the vermin and the vultures’, insisting: “I feel very proud of my time as a coach, very satisfied with what I did.” Fortunately, he no longer reads the Spanish press.

On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!


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