BILBAO: Coach Luis Enrique refused to comment on reports of Manchester United’s reported interest in Neymar after Barcelona kicked off the defence of their Spanish league title with a 1-0 win in Bilbao.
He said: “It doesn’t interest me to talk about rumours, nor these types of situations. I only want to focus on what’s happened to my team.”
Neymar was not involved against Athletic as he only recently returned to training after being diagnosed with mumps.
However, Luis Suarez’s 54th-minute volley gave the European champions all three points, just six days after their opponents had defeated them 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup final.
“Overall, I’m satisfied,” Enrique told the club’s website. “We created chances, a lot more than our opponents. Towards the end it got tough for us, of course, because the score was so close.
“The wing-backs were very good, especially Sergio Roberto, who came in unexpectedly and played a very complete match. Jordi Alba too.”
Barca’s win was marred slightly by injuries to Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves.
Real Madrid opened theirs season with a goalless draw away to Gijon.