SOCCER | BARCELONA

Barcelona: Martinez says no Cruyff contact over Koeman's job

Belgium boss Roberto Martínez has denied sounding out Jordi Cruyff to find out if there will soon be a vacancy to fill at Barcelona.

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Martinez denies Barcelona talk with Koeman reportedly on the brink

Roberto Martínez says he has had no contact with Barcelona amid reports he is a contender to replace Ronald Koeman.

Barca boss Koeman is reportedly on the brink of being sacked following a 3-0 Champions League defeat at Benfica on Wednesday.

Martínez is a close friend of Barcelona sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff and president Joan Laporta is said to be an admirer of the Belgium head coach's work.

However, Catalonia-born Martínez has played down talk that he could be set to return to his homeland.

Martínez: "There is absolutely nothing. There are no contacts"

"There is absolutely nothing. There are no contacts," Martinez told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

"The basis of my friendship with Jordi is that we separate the private from the professional.

"At no time did I ask Jordi what my situation was in Barcelona. I don't think he has the function of appointing a possible new coach."

Martínez is under contract with the Red Devils until after the World Cup in Qatar next year and says he is focused on the job in hand, with a Nations League semi-final against Italy to come next Thursday.

"I would love for us to be the first European country to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. That is the challenge after the Nations League final," he added.

"But in football you never know what will be done tomorrow. I wake up every morning as Belgium coach until the last day of my contract, but I realise that many circumstances can arise along the way."