Luis Enrique has defended Pep Guardiola, describing the Bayern Munich head coach as a reference point for those who love attacking football. The Barcelona boss was asked about the criticism his predecessor has received after Bayern lost out in the Champions League semi-finals for the third consecutive season, this time against Atletico Madrid. Luis Enrique said he does not think Guardiola’s failure to go all the way with the German champions in Europe affects his standing in the game ahead of his move to Manchester City.
Lyon tempt Barca target Arfa
Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas is hoping to tempt Hatem Ben Arfa to re-join his club despite strong speculation linking the attacker with a move to Barcelona. The 29-year-old is out of contract at Nice at the end of the season after a campaign that has seen him score 17 goals as Claude Puel’s men make a shock challenge for a Champions League place. Reports on Monday suggested Ben Arfa was due to fly to Spain for talks with Luis Enrique’s side and a visit of Barca’s training centre. Ben Arfa himself has said he will not make a decision on his future until the end of the season.
‘Nainggolan, Pjanic not for sale’
Roma president James Pallotta has reiterated that the club’s top stars Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan will not be sold at the end of the season. The Bosnia and Belgium internationals have developed a fine partnership in Roma’s midfield, helping the capital club secure a Champions League return for next season. Pjanic has been involved in 21 goals this term (10 goals, 11 assists) – more than any other player with the Giallorossi