Braida and Barca coy on Allegri links

Ariedo Braida was unwilling to discuss potential targets for La Liga giant Barcelona, which is searching for a new coach.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri   -  Getty Images

Barcelona director Ariedo Braida refused to confirm or deny whether Juventus boss and friend Massimiliano Allegri is a candidate to replace Luis Enrique at the end of the season.

The search has begun to replace Luis Enrique, who announced last week that will not continue in his role as head coach with the La Liga giant in 2017-18.

Athletic Bilbao's Ernesto Valverde, Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli and Everton manager Ronald Koeman have been linked with moves to Camp Nou, while Allegri - who continues to be touted as Arsene Wenger's successor at Arsenal - has also been mentioned.

Braida, however, was unwilling to discuss potential targets for Barcelona ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 return leg at home to Paris Saint-Germain, who lead 4-0.

"Allegri is a friend and we know each other very well, but it's really not something we can talk about," the Italian told Radioanch'io Sport. "It's all top secret.

"There's a different name coming out every day in the Spanish media, from Valverde to Sampaoli, from [Ronald] Koeman to Eusebio [Sacristan], who is coach of Real Sociedad and is a part of the Barcelona family. Everything is possible. It's something I would prefer not to talk about.

"Luis Enrique made this announcement very early probably to give the club the time to find a replacement.

"He's a really great coach and has a philosophy that is a bit of Barcelona and a bit of those who have preceded him. He is [doing] a great job and I am sorry to lose him because we're losing a bit of security which we hope to find [with the coach] who replaces him."

Title-holder Barcelona is a point clear in LaLiga, though it has played one more match than rival Real Madrid.



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