Johann Cruyff has denied claims that he has held talks with Jose Mourinho about the prospect of the Portuguese replacing Frank Rijkaard as Barcelona coach at the end of the season.
Cruyff, who led Barcelona to four successive league titles in the 1990s, is an advisor to club president Joan Laporta and is believed to retain significant influence at Camp Nou.
Although Barca currently trail six points behind Primera Division leaders Real Madrid, Cruyff has insisted that the speculation about Rijkaard’s position are unfounded.
“Recognising that Madrid (have an advantage) shouldn’t serve to feed completely false rumours like the one that I gave the okay to Mourinho’s arrival,” Cruyff told El Periodico.
The Dutchman also stated that Rijkaard continues to have his full support, insisting “we have a manager until 2009” and “Rijkaard is my friend and you don’t do things behind a friend’s back.”