Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has offered an update on the club’s plans for Neymar, Lautaro Martinez, and Luis Suarez.
The Catalan giants have been rumored to be keen on bringing in both Martinez and Neymar to the Camp Nou this season, but Bartomeu appeared pessimistic when asked specifically about the Brazilian in an interview with Mundo Deportivo‘s Sergi Sole and Fernando Polo.
He said: “Now we are making decisions, if there are no player exchanges, it’s very difficult for them to come.”
Bartomeu was also asked about Martinez and responded: “Yes, we have spoken with Inter but now the issue is stopped. Now we are concentrating on the pitch, as we prepare for the Champions League.”
The Barcelona president also confirmed that striker Luis Suarez, whose current contract expires at the end of next season, has an automatic renewal clause in his deal.
He explained: “Luis has a contract that, depending on the number of games he plays, automatically renews for the 2021-22 season.”
Barcelona are back in training next week after a few days rest ahead of the Champions League last-16 tie with Napoli on August 8. The winner of the tie will progress to the finals of the tournament which are due to be held in Portugal.
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Bartomeu Looking to the Future?
Barcelona’s president also looked to the future and spoke about the young players the club will welcome to the club over the summer as well as the Barcelona B starlets breaking into the first team.
Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati, and Ronald Araujo have all featured for the senior side in 2019-20, while Francisco Trincao, Pedri and Matheus Fernandes have all agreed moves and will arrive in the summer.
Bartomeu says having the youngsters in and around the first team, as well as experienced midfielder Miralem Pjanic due to arrive from Juventus, gives the club real optimism for the future.
“In January, Barça made a series of bets for the future and since we made them, people are seeing the quality they have. Pedri, who is a young player with incredible talent. Trincão, who was very unknown, we signed him in January and he is already the best Under-21 in Europe.
“And Matheus Fernandes, who has played little because he has had some problems coming to Spain, already has them in order and has made few appearances but quality at Valladolid.
“Pjanic is a player who will surely come and integrate the very first minute in the first team. It is very exciting to see Barça B players coming up. From Araujo, a central defender who will surely have a place in the first team, to Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati.”
Barcelona certainly need to rejuvenate their aging squad. Players such as Lionel Messi, Suarez, Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal are all the wrong side of 30 and heading towards retirement.