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Luis Enrique remains hopeful of signing a new player for Barcelona before the end of the transfer window, despite the recent snub received from Celta Vigo over attempts to sign Nolito. The Spanish boss, however, says that right now he is focused on beating Atletico Madrid on Saturday (30 January) to take a step closer to another La Liga title.
"Whether we can bolster the squad or not, we all want the same thing, to improve the side as much as we can in each window, even more so when we are winning," he said in a press conference ahead of the game, as quoted by AS. "There are lots of factors involved, negotiations with players and other clubs. The board and I want the same thing. Things can change right up until window shuts. But for the moment what concerns me is tomorrow's game."
"I am not concerned [about the lack of signings], I do not care, I just worry about Saturday's game. That's what I can have under control. I still have hope [of getting a new signing] but my goal is to focus on football.
Barcelona took advantage of Diego Simeone's side's draw with Sevilla last weekend and arrive for this match with a game in hand over their opponents but on the same number of points. Enrique says the game is not completely decisive for the title, believing that Real Madrid are also in the mix, but says he is happy that the club's injury situation has improved ahead of it.
"There's not much between the teams at the top of the table and I think it will continue that way," he said. "Independent of the result tomorrow, any team can suddenly complicate things for you, and we have a long way to go yet. Tomorrow's match isn't decisive at all."
Neymar is ready to play, despite suffering a knock during the midweek Copa del Rey quarter-final win over Athletic Bilbao, and the manager confirmed Jordi Alba's availability as well.
"Neymar and Jordi Alba are both fine; I'll pass on your best regards to them," he said to the reporters.
Asked whether it would be a risk to field the Brazilian, he said: "He took a knock to his foot. It would be just as risky not to field him – they'd kill me. Do you get my drift? He won't be rested just for a knock, he'll play".
The manager, meanwhile, also played down the speculations linking Neymar with a move away from the club. The Brazilian recently made headlines by claiming he would like to play under Pep Guardiola one day.
But Enrique replied: "He's got exquisite taste".
The Brazilian refused to commit his long-term future to Barca, claiming he has to 'study every detail' before signing a new deal at the Nou Camp.
Asked about that, the manager said: "Then he'll have to look closely at everything so that he stays for many years at Barcelona. I was spot on about him renewing his contract, wasn't I? Remind me when it happens."