BARCELONA: Barcelona coach Luis Enrique joked on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) that his recent lost voice is due to being bombarded by questions over Brazilian star Neymar’s future.
The 24-year-old was last month crowned as the world’s third best player for his stunning form in 2015 and has helped keep Barca on course to repeat their treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey from last season.
Enrique has long insisted Neymar will extend his contract with the European champions beyond his current deal, which runs until 2018.
“I have lost my voice speaking so many times about this subject,” he said.
However, Neymar has been targeted by Manchester United and Real Madrid amid speculation his off-field problems in Barcelona could convince him to leave.
Last week he appeared at Spain’s highest court to be questioned over his role in a probe for fraud and corruption surrounding his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.
On the field, Barca look to consolidate their place at the top of La Liga when they host Celta Vigo on Sunday seeking revenge for their 4-1 thrashing at the hands of the Galicians earlier in the season.
And Enrique, who left Celta to take charge of Barca in May 2014, is well aware of the danger posed by his old side as they also won 1-0 at the Camp Nou last season.
“They are the only team to have beaten us twice and the last time comprehensively,” he added.
“They dominate all factors of the game and are very brave. It is true they are missing some important players, but they will maintain the same style of play.”
Enrique rested 11 senior players as Barca eased into the Copa del Rey final by completing an 8-1 aggregate win over Valencia on Wednesday.
Lionel Messi is fit to return despite undergoing treatment on a kidney stone problem earlier in the week and will be reunited with Neymar and Luis Suarez in attack.