Real Sociedad manager Eusebio Sacristán has put an end to the recent speculation linking him with a return to Barcelona by signing a new deal with the Basque side until 2019. Luis Enrique's position at the Nou Camp has come under big scrutiny following the recent 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint Germain, but the former Barcelona B manager looks now an unlikely candidate to take over the Spaniard in the summer.
Eusebio started his managerial career at the Nou Camp as an assistant of Frank Rijkaard, having being part of Johan Cruyff's dream team during his playing days.
The Spaniard later enjoyed a short spell as Celta Vigo coach before returning to Barcelona in 2011 to take over at the second team. The la Liga giants sacked him in February 2015 following a number of disappointing results but he has managed to resurrect his career at Real Sociedad, having done an impressive job at the Basque side since replacing David Moyes in November 2015.
Yet, the 52-year-old boss has taken the Basque side to fifth position in La Liga and last week The Mirror reported that he was on the shortlist of candidates to replace Luis Enrique ahead of next season alongside the likes of Everton's Ronald Koeman, Sevilla's Jorge Sampaoli and Athletic Bilbao's Ernesto Valverde.
Later a poll made by Marca revealed that Eusebio would be behind Sampaoli, Valverde and even Luis Enrique in the preference of the Barcelona fans to be the manager next season.
Yet, Eusebio himself has now appeared to rule himself out of the job after committing his long-term future to Real Sociedad by signing a new deal until 2019.
"Real Sociedad have reached an agreement with manager Eusebio Sacristán to renew his contract until 30 June 2019. The previous agreement was due to expire in the summer. President Jokin Aperribay and the txuri urdin coach have sealed the agreement this afternoon in the offices of Anoeta," the Basque side have confirmed through an official statement.
Luis Enrique was whistled by sections of the Barcelona crowd during the weekend win over Leganes. Yet, speaking before the game, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu expressed his full support to current manager, suggesting that the club still plans to offer him a new deal as his current contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
"We agreed with him a while ago that we would talk [about a new deal] in April," Bartomeu said just before the win over Leganes. "Now it is time to focus on the games that are coming up. Luis Enrique is the coach that we want, he is doing a fantastic job, and with the exception of Paris, we are happy with results."