“Neymar to United? Money won’t come into it”
Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu also warned off teams after Messi: “If anybody is interested in him they can forget about it.”
Josep Maria Bartomeu has made clear in an interview with the Daily Mail that Barcelona’s star players have no intention of leaving the club because they aren’t driven by money. Addressing the rumours that Manchester United might be ready to fork out €190 million for Neymar, the President said he was confident that the Brazilian is happy with life at the club. “We’ll see,” he said. “We’re convinced that our players are happy at the club, in the city. They enjoy playing here. I can assure you that they won’t move simply for money.”
He also took the opportunity to shut down the idea of Messi being prised away from the Camp Nou. “Messi said just a few days ago that he wouldn’t play for another European club that wasn’t Barcelona. If anybody is interested in him they can forget about it. He said it and now I’ve said it,” he said.
Bartomeu is well aware that many Barcelona players could earn more money elsewhere but explained that the club has an allure that makes many want to stay. “We know that Messi could earn more at another club. The same goes for Neymar, Busquets, Pique and Luis Suarez. Neymar and Luis had better offers that they turned down to come here. They chose to come here because we’re more than a club. We care about a lot more than football. We’re close to children all over the world thanks to UNICEF. It’s just one of the things that helps to create an atmosphere in which we see ourselves as more than just a club.”
The key to the success of this Barcelona side is their undoubted quality, but a good dressing room atmosphere is crucial to allowing that quality to flourish and Bartomeu gushed that he’d never seen such a tight-knit group.
“I’ve been at this club for years and worked with Rijkaard, Guardiola, Vilanova, Tata Martino and now Luis Enrique,” he said. “I can assure you that this is the first time that I’ve seen a dressing room be together as one. Normally there are a few different groups, but here there’s just one.”
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