Roberto Martinez insists he ‘has not really thought about’ the Barcelona job and remains focused on the Nations League ahead of Belgium’s semi-final against France
- Ronald Koeman is under huge pressure at Barcelona after dreadful start
- Belgium boss Roberto Martinez is one of the names in the frame to take over
- When asked about the job, Martinez insisted he ‘hasn’t really thought about it’
- He noticed an affection for him from Spanish fans at the 2018 World Cup
Roberto Martinez remains coy on the prospect of taking over at Barcelona, insisting he ‘hasn’t really thought about it’.
The Belgium boss could have shut down the speculation entirely but interestingly opted simply to play down the chances of him replacing Ronald Koeman.
In an interview with Spanish publication AS, he as asked whether the job would be an opportunity or poisoned chalice with the club it it’s current state.
Roberto Martinez is one of the top contenders to manage Barcelona but was coy on the job
The Catalan side are struggling and have endured a dire start to their campaign
He replied: ‘I haven’t really thought about it. I have been thinking about the Nations League for a year and a half and that is what worries me now. My opinion would be quite misaligned.’
And when asked if he was flattered to be an option for Barcelona, the former Everton and Wigan boss added: ‘Look, I’ve been away from home for many years.
‘There are not too many fans who know about my career, or that I was seven years in a row in the Premier. This makes me laugh. I think there was a change in the 2018 World Cup.
‘We had the affection of Spanish fans, I noticed it right away. For me, it was a great illusion. From there, the coaches are always in the rumors. When the team wins you dream for other projects and when the team loses you are on the verge of cessation. You get used to it and you live outside of all this.’
Last week, Martinez was also peppered with questions about the Barcelona job and teased: ‘You never know what tomorrow will bring.’
‘I get up every morning as if I were working for Belgium until the last day of my contract, but I realise that many circumstances can happen along the way.’
Martinez is close friends with Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff but the Spaniard denied that would have any influence, saying: ‘The basis of my friendship with Jordi is that we separate the private from the professional.
‘At no point have I asked Jordi what my situation is in Barcelona. I also don’t believe he has a role in appointing a new head coach.’
Ronald Koeman, pictured with sporting director Jordi Cruyff, is teetering on the brink
Xavi and Andrea Pirlo are other names in the frame who could succeed Koeman, who presided over yet another defeat at the weekend, this time a 2-0 loss against Atletico Madrid.
Belgium, meanwhile, are preparing for their Nations League semi-final against France on Thursday night.
It is a realistic shot at silverware for Martinez’s men, although they will have to beat the World champions and follow it up with a win against one of Italy or Spain.
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