MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona and coach Luis Enrique have agreed to put off talks on a contract extension until early next year, club President Josep Maria Bartomeu said.
Luis Enrique is in his third season in charge of Barca and recently said he would only consider his future at the end of the campaign when his current deal runs out.
Barca are determined to keep the 46-year-old, who has won eight trophies out of a possible 10 in his two years as coach, beyond next year.
“We will not discuss Luis Enrique’s renewal now or at Christmas,” Bartomeu told local radio station Catalunya radio.
”The right time will be in February or March as he said that he didn’t want to talk about it until the end of the season.
“Now we are thinking about the domestic league and the Champions League.”
Luis Enrique, a former Barca player, won the treble in his first season at the Nou Camp and in his second they successfully defended the La Liga title and retained the King’s Cup.
Barca are also planning to offer new deals to forwards Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, and midfielder Ivan Rakitic before the end of the year.
Croatian Rakitic is under contract until June 2019, just like Uruguayan Suarez, who scored 40 goals in La Liga last season to win golden boot as Europe’s leading scorer for the second time in his career.
Messi is Barca’s all-time top scorer and his deal expires in June 2018.
“We will speak to Messi just as we will talk to Suarez and Rakitic,” Bartomeu said. “We will do so in the next few months because we want them to renew their contracts.”
No player is more precious for Barca than the 29-year-old Messi, who is under contract until June 2018.
”Leo is the world number one,“ Bartomeu said. ”Leo is very strong, he is a winner and he has come back better than ever.
“He is looking forward to making the fans happy.”
Reporting by Adriana Garcia, editing by Ed Osmond