The old man has spoken. Finally.
FC Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, gave the media a lot of time during an interview on Wednesday afternoon. Bartomeu opened it with a quick statement about his plans for the immediate future, including ticket sales, social efforts and business decisions. Then, the president answered questions. A LOT of questions. He responded to all of them, and was honest and clear about his answers. Well, not including transfers, but you know how it goes ...
On his opening statement, Bartomeu talked about the expansion plans. He wants to add qualified people to the board of directors, to help improve decision-making and marketing and bussiness strategies. He talked about some social projects and promised a record on ticket sales for next season.
Then, it was time to give the people what they want. Here are some highlights of his answers:
"He's not transferable. He is not going to be sold under any circumstances. We love Leo and he is the guy we're working with, because he is the key to the rebuilding project we are into. That's why we adapted his contract, he is very happy. I know that he doesn't want to leave and he knows that he is our leader. I wish good luck to him and Argentina in the World Cup."
Luis Suárez and meeting with Liverpool officials
"We are working on a deep rebuilding of our team, so I can't tell you exactly what signings are we negotiating. There are things going on but I can't tell you."
"We've been on a lot of trips for months but I can't explain it. We are trying to be as cautious as possible".
"Suárez is a Liverpool FC player. He is not one of our players, so I can't comment on him too much. What I will say is: I think it's very important that he apologized. It's honorable for a person to admit he's wrong when he makes mistakes. I understand that things can happen in the heat of competition, but it's important to his career, whether it's at Liverpool or anywhere else, it's important for him to admit that he was wrong and apologize. I'm happy for him".
"Like I said, we can't comment on our transfers until they're official. You know we've signed Ter Stegen, Bravo and Rakitic, but there are nothing else official yet. I can tell you that there are a lot of negotiations advancing well, and we expect them to happen. As for the center-backs, Zubi told me he has the names and the talks are advancing but we won't reveal anything."
"We have the money to complete all signings we are planning. It can be exactly what I told you (around 150 million euros). It can be more, it can be less. But I assure you we have the money to complete every operation."
"We have all the names, yes. We're negotiating and we're happy with how it's going. I can't reveal the names, but we have them. The negotiations get a little tricky during the World Cup because teams want to wait to see if their players value is going up, but that won't stop us. We are negotiating and the signings are happening soon".
"Everybody has some opinion on the 'Xavi Subject'. We will respect his decision, doesn't matter what it is. We trust him, we love him and we believe he is the greatest player and representative of this great institution. He has earned the right to do whatever he wants and we will respect his decision. And I can guarantee you he's coming back in the future, because we believe he is going to be an amazing manager for us."
"We are sad he is leaving. We loved him, and we tried everything we could to sign him when Pep Guardiola asked for him. We always treated him well and he's done the same with us. It's probably a good career move to him to join Chelsea. I wish him the best."
There you have it, folks. What do you think of Bartomeu's interview? Do you like his answers?
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