Euroleague Basketball

Unicaja Malaga coach Joan Plaza has dropped a major hint about possibly leaving the club to head to his hometown of Barcelona.

Plaza, who formally coached Barca’s rivals Real Madrid has been with Malaga for five years but his contract runs out on June 30.

Just a month after becoming the coach with more games in the history of the club, Plaza gave an interview on TV3, as adapted by Diario Sur, in which he spoke of his desire to head back to Barcelona but he insists that he isn’t desperate to head back.

“If you ask me if I would like it, frankly yes, I’d like to, but it is not something that obsesses me”, Plaza said.

“Two or three years ago I was in the options of Barça, but then [Georgios] Bartzokas and Sito [Alonso] were chosen. Now it is not a thing that obsesses me. Yes, I believe that now I have the level of maturity that two years ago I did not have at all levels.

“If that happened it would be fantastic to be able to return to my city. If the opportunity arises, it would be spectacular.”

After years of being one of the EuroLeague’s top sides that near enough always contended for a spot in the Final Four, Barcelona are set to miss out on the playoffs for the second straight year.

They haven’t reached the Final Four itself since 2014 when they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the semi-finals in Milan.

This season, under Plaza, Unicaja, who won the EuroCup last season, are set to miss the EuroLeague playoffs but are still in contention mathematically.

They are currently sixth in the Liga Endesa.