Luis Enrique insists he's 'given his word' as Man United links intensify
'I have given my word.'
Luis Enrique has opened the door to the possibility of becoming the next manager of Manchester United, but only after the World Cup in Qatar.
Man United have recently stepped up the process of recruiting a permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino of Paris Saint-Germain widely regarded as being favourites to land the job.
Though talks are believed to have taken place with Ten Hag last week, it has also been claimed United are admirers of Luis Enrique, who is currently the manager of the Spanish national team.
World Cup could scupper Man United's plans of appointing Luis Enrique
One major obstacle preventing Luis Enrique, who is believed to be interested in managing in England, from taking the job at Old Trafford is the timing of this year's World Cup in Qatar.
The tournament has been moved back to November to avoid the country's searing summer temperatures, meaning the 2022/23 season will be interrupted to make space for it.
If the 51-year-old did take the United job, therefore, he would likely only come in after the tournament, with a large part of the season already played.
Spain play Iceland in a friendly on Tuesday as they step up their preparations for Qatar. Asked about his future before the game, Luis Enrique insisted he is committed to overseeing his side's World Cup campaign - killing any remote hopes of him leaving his current position to take the United job before the start of next season.
Beyond that, though, he gave nothing away.
"I will be in Qatar with Spain because I have given my word and there is nothing that makes me more excited than representing my country in the World Cup," he said. "Later? We'll see."
Ralf Rangnick was appointed United's interim manager following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this season. The German is expected to remain in place until the end of the season before moving into a consultancy role.
Ten Hag and Pochettino remain amongst the favourites
Ten Hag appeared to be the clear favourite for the United job at one stage last week, though a word of caution from his homeland swiftly followed with Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan saying United faced strong competition from two other European heavyweights.
Pochettino is also expected to be available following a turbulent few weeks at Paris Saint-Germain, though some reports have claimed the French champions will insist he sees out the remaining year of his contract.