Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernández was frank about the reality at the Camp Nou during the official presentation of Samuel Umtiti, admitting that many of Barcelona's primary targets have said 'no' to the blaugranas this summer.
With Messi, Suarez and Neymar up front...
Completing the squad
“We want to do that as quick as we can, but negociations can always drag on. We've been following Umtiti for a long time, watching him on television and then going to see him live. We worked on bringing him here, though there were other central defenders. Samuel has certain excellent innate abilities and is a natural all-rounder. We went after him but the negotiations weren't simple at all, there was competition, the relationship with Lyon, but the fact that the player wanted to come here resolved the situation".
“He's a great player, in very good physical condition, but he's already at a big club”.
The MSN and the roll of the substitute
“It's very hard to convince players to come here with the three we have up front”.
“Tactical and technical decisions are for the manager. Javier is happy when he plays, whether that be midfield or central defence. He shows that in every game he plays”.
“What I want is for him to play every Sunday. That isn't easy to negotiate. If it was up to me it'd all be sorted. He needs the right conditions to grow and thrive, I think about this situation everyday, let's see what happens, he might still stay here. He wants to play for Barça but it isn't that simple, there's a lot of competition. In another team? Of course. But we have to find the best place for the player".
“Of the five we have, three are very versatile: Mathieu, Mascherano and Umtiti. We'd like to think that they can all continue here along with Piqué and Vermaelen”.
Transfers: The difficulty of signing players for Barcelona
“I've seen many players over many matches. I couldn't choose just one, I'd just say that I know everything about this club”. Difficulties signing players: "We have such a good team that it's difficult to sign players, we have a top team with a brilliant dressing room. Everything is calibrated, but there are certain signings you can't even begin to broach. There are players who don't want to come to Barcelona".
“He'll renew next week, but all the players have to earn their place in the team. He always wanted to make it here at Barça and has had the chances to leave. We have a lot of confidence in the player”.
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