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Boxer Bellew warns Barcelona to 'keep away' from Everton boss Koeman

Boxing champion Tony Bellew has warned Barcelona to "keep away" from Everton boss Ronald Koeman in their search for a successor to Luis Enrique.

The Barca coach announced his decision to leave at the end of the season on Wednesday, opening up a vacancy at one of the biggest clubs in world football.

Koeman is among the frontrunners to take the reins at Camp Nou, having spent six years at the club as a player, winning four LaLiga titles and the European Cup.

WBC cruiserweight champ Bellew is preparing for a blockbuster bout against David Haye in London on Saturday but showed his beloved Everton are not far from his thoughts.

Asked by Omnisport for his opinion on Koeman's Barca links, Bellew replied: "I don't know, mate - I'm a fella who gets punched in the face for a living.

"Don't get me wrong, I wish I did kick a ball, I wish I did play for Everton, but the fact of the matter is I get punched in the face and I haven't got a clue what's going to happen with Everton's managerial situation.

"I hope that we do keep hold of the coach. I think Ronald Koeman is a brilliant coach, he's one of the best defenders to ever grace the game - the highest-scoring defender of all time.

"The man's an absolute legend, he's an icon in the game.

"Hopefully we keep hold of him and hopefully Barcelona keep away."

Everton visit Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.