Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has given a lengthy interview with Barca TV and a handful of selected journalists where he’s talked about a range of topics.
Bartomeu discussed Lionel Messi’s future, Ronald Koeman’s arrival, the presidential elections, transfers and the club’s untouchables.
Here are the best bits:
Bartomeu on Koeman
If there are no setbacks then we will announce Koeman as our next coach and he will lead this team and these players forward with a different type of project, led by a coach who all Barca fans know.
We are betting on him because we know him very well, we know how he thinks and how his teams play, but also because of his experience and as he was in Johan’s ‘Dream Team’ he knows Barca and how we understand football.
Bartomeu on Messi
Messi wants to end his career at Barca, he has said that many times. I’ve spoken to Koeman about him and he has told me Messi will be the pillar of his project. Messi has a contract with Barca until 2021. I speak to him and his father regularly and they know that we have a solid project, that a new coach is coming and that he will count on him.
Bartomeu on resigning and Eric Abidal’s departure
Resigning would be very easy at this moment, but I have a responsibility towards with the club, so I won’t do it. Abidal made the decision to leave. It’s his personal choice and we respect that.
Bartomeu on Coutinho
It will be the decision of the technical secretary and the coach but if they consider that he has to stay, he will stay.
Bartomeu on Neymar and Lautaro
Going for a player [Neymar] when the club he is at doesn’t want to sell him is impossible. Last summer we tried. It is normal. Big clubs want great players.
We’re not in talks... right now [with Lautaro], we’ve stopped the negotiations with Inter at the end of June. We’ll see what will happen
Bartomeu on Barca’s untouchables
Messi is untouchable and non-transferable. He knows it, we all know it. But there are various non-transferrable players like Ter Stegen, Lenglet, Semedo, De Jong, Griezmann, Dembele. They are players who we count on a lot and who have come to spend many years at Barça.
Bartomeu on renewing the squad
I don’t to speak ill of anyone, I want to elevate the figure of these players, who have made the best club in the world. We have been winning trophies non-stop for 12 years.
Now is the moment to start to say goodbye, with all the honours, to some of those players. The renewal of the squad will be as wide ranging as necessary so that the sporting project is a success.