(Reuters) - Everton defender Ashley Williams has urged manager Ronald Koeman to ignore speculation linking him with the soon-to-be-vacant Barcelona job and build a team for the future at Goodison Park.
Luis Enrique confirmed he will leave the Spanish La Liga champions at the end of the season and the Catalan side’s former defender Koeman is being linked in the media with a return to the Nou Camp.
“For me personally and the lads, we obviously hope he stays,” Williams told British media.
”He’s started building a team here and we’re all confident the future looks good for Everton, so from our point of view we’d obviously want him to stay.
“But he might have his own ambitions. I can’t speak for what he wants from his managerial career but just from our point of view, definitely we enjoy working with him.”
Koeman who joined the Merseyside club from Southampton at the start of the season and his side are on course to finish in the top seven of the Premier League for the first time in three years.
“The gaffer is trying to build a team he wants and we’ve done well in the last couple of months. It’s about kicking on now and trying to take that into next season,” the 32-year-old Williams added.
The Toffees, five points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, host eighth-placed West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and relegation-threatened Hull City on Mar. 18.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru