In a recent interview with the Mundo Deportivo, Barça president Bartomeu talked about various topics including Messi, Neymar, Setién, Lautaro Martinez, and Ter Stegen. Here is what he had to say.
On the squad
“Barça are always a favorite in any tournament they play, especially seeing the winning spirit and competitive eagerness of our players. It is a very suitable moment to return and give a demonstration of talent and ambition of what the players know: playing football well”
On the Champions League
“Napoli are up first in the UCL. The last few days has seen internal self-criticism and I think it has helped to revitalize energies for this unique Champions League format in an exceptional season.”
“At no time has Setién’s continuity been up in the air. Simply put, the coach and the players must manage and talk to each other.”
On the current season
“Despite not having won the league, which would have been a spectacular nine from 12 – after eight from 11 which is already a record – we have to look forward.”
On the club’s transfer market business
“We already have seven new players. We have bet on Trincão, Pedri and Matheus for the future, and they will have first team numbers alongside Araujo, Riqui and Ansu. Pjanic will consolidate from the beginning.”
On Neymar’s return
“If there are no player exchanges, it’s very difficult for Neymar to come.”
On Lautaro Martinez
“We have spoken to Inter about Lautaro, but for now things are on hold.”
“Messi has said many times that he wants to retire here and I have no doubt that he will renew.”
On Ter Stegen
“Ter Stegen is an important member of the dressing room and for the future. At 28 he is one of the three best goalkeepers in the world, and is a priority to be renewed.”
“Luis Suárez has a contract that, depending on the number of games he plays, he is automatically renewed for the 2021/22 season.”
On the current financial situation
“I want to thank everyone because in March, April and May the teams reduced their salary by up to 12%. Players have adapted their salaries to the level of income the club has now and will have in the future. Everyone understands the situation. In our strategic plan we had planned to bank 1,100 million euros and now we will bank 30% less because of Covid-19.”
On La Masia
“Those at La Masia work hard and there are very good players like Collado or Monchu, who have a very good future. Our goal is to train players to play, not to do business with them.”
“Dembélé will surprise everyone in a season without injuries. He’s been unfortunate and he has had bad luck.”
On the Camp Nou’s renovation
“The Espai Barça project will cost around €800M. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, there would have been cranes in the Camp Nou by now. We’re close to reaching an agreement with two huge companies for the naming rights of the Camp Nou. I look forward to announcing it after the Champions League.”
“VAR is a powerful tool, but there have been different outcomes in similar situations.”
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Report: Former Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has been arrested
Barcelona has always been a host of controversy in the world of football, but in breaking and shattering news, former president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested owing to his involvement in the BarçaGate scandal. Additionally, the Chief Executive Officer of the club, Oscar Grau, former adviser to the presidency Jaume Masferrer, and head legal counsel Roman Gomez Ponti have also been arrested by the Catalan police.
The BarçaGate scandal occurred during Bartomeu’s time at the club where the administration was suspected of paying PR company I3 ventures to clean up the image of Bartomeu online while disparaging the image of current and former players that played under the infamous president.
Initially, both Barça and I3 had denied the allegations and a report following an audit conducted by PrincewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that the club did not take part in any defamatory campaigns against any individual. The company also found no evidence of financial corruption or money laundering done by the president and his board.
However, it seems the tables have been turned on their head today. The Catalan police arrived at the Camp Nou offices this morning to search for documentation in connection with the BarçaGate investigation. They left the offices half an hour ago and arrived at the house of Josep Bartomeu and arrested him from there.