AVB committed to Zenit despite reports of Barcelona interest

Andre Villas-Boas has been mentioned as a potential managerial candidate for Barcelona, but he insists he is fully committed to Zenit St Petersburg.

Despite his troubles in England with Chelsea and, earlier this season, Tottenham Hotspur, Villas-Boas remains one of the brightest young coaches in the game. Having been dismissed by Spurs in December of last year, he was appointed by Zenit last month, and he has so far won every one of his five league games in charge of the Russian club.

Reports have emerged in recent days that the 36-year-old could be a target for Barcelona if, as expected, Tata Martino is dismissed at the end of the campaign. The Camp Nou giants face a season without winning a trophy this term, having been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Atletico Madrid and losing the Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid, whilst they are sandwiched in between the two capital clubs in the title race.

It has even been claimed that Villas-Boas has opened talks with the Blaugrana about succeeding Martino during the summer, a proposition which would expect to be of interest. However, the Portuguese has denied he has been in contact with the Spanish giants, and insists he will see out his contract at Zenit which runs until 2016.

“All the rumours about my negotiations with Barcelona are completely groundless,” Villas-Boas, who has in the past been assistant manager to Jose Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Internazionale, told reporters. “I’ve signed the contract with Zenit St Petersburg and I’m set to stay here until its expiry date. My work with Zenit is my top priority.”

Barca are currently second in La Liga, but are four points adrift of Diego Simeone’s Atletico. They are two points ahead of great rivals Real, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men have a game in hand after the Spanish Football Association agreed to postpone their match against Valladolid to allow Los Blancos extra preparation ahead of their Champions League semi-final match against current holders Bayern Munich this week.


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