Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has opened the door to the club signing Italian legend Francesco Totti – but admitted he feels the Roma star should hang his boots up with the Serie A club. The Spanish boss was coyer when asked about the possibility of luring Atletico Madrid sensation Saul Niguez to the Nou Camp over the summer.
Totti's future at the club he has been with since 1992 was thrown into question this season after he apparently fell out with manager Luciano Spalleti, failing to start a single league game since the Italian boss was appointed in January. However, the 39-year-old has sent a message to his manager in recent weeks, scoring three goals off the bench in the last three games, with reports in Italy suggesting the club will acquiesce and offer him a new deal to end his career with the Giallorossi.
Luis Enrique is still looking to bolster Barcelona's attack with a versatile forward to serve as a back-up to the MSN trio former by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. So asked if he would consider signing the player, whom he managed at Roma, in a repeat of the case that saw Henrik Larsson joining the Catalans in 2004, Enrique replied laughing: "Why not? If Roma sell him cheap, it is a question of negotiations."
Having enjoyed a good relationship with Totti during his 2011-12 spell in Italy's capital, the Barca manager admitted he hopes 'Er Pupone' finishes his career with Roma.
"Francesco Totti is the living history of Roma and I think he would like to finish his career at that club," Luis Enrique added. "It would be very strange to see him wearing another shirt, but if he wanted to then he has the talent to play for any team he wanted. But as a bit of a Roma fan I think he should finish his career at Roma."
Barcelona, meanwhile, have also been linked with a move for Saul after the Spanish midfielder led Atletico Madrid to a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday with a fantastic solo goal. The Catalans have a first option to sign both the midfielder and his teammate Javier Manquillo, currently on loan at Marseille, as part of the transfer of David Villa to the Vicente Calderon in 2013.
Sport claimed on Friday morning (29 April) that, following his impressive season at Atletico, Barcelona could consider to make a move for the Spaniard, who has a contract at the Vicente Calderon until 2020 with a release clause set at €45m (£35.2m, $51.5m).
Manchester United and Arsenal have also been linked with the player's services since January, when Cadena Cope reported that Louis van Gaal's side even offered £15m to lure him to Old Trafford.
Asked whether Barcelona would activate their preferential option to beat other suitors and sign Saul in the summer, Luis Enrique said: "You already know I have a rule not to talk about players that have nothing to do with the Barcelona side.
"There are a lot good players in the football galaxy. It is not something that interests us now. We are just interested in securing the three points at [against Real Betis on Saturday]."