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 Primera Liga champions at the end of the season and the Catalan side’s former defender Koeman is among the names being mentioned as possible successors at the Camp Nou.
“For me personally and the lads, we obviously hope he stays,” Williams said.
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“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 joined Everton 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,” Williams, 32, said.
Everton, five points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, next host eighth-placed West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and relegation-threatened Hull City on March 18.
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