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Mathieu: "I had an offer from Besiktas but I wanted to stay"

The Barcelona defender spoke about the arrival of international teammates Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne: "We all have to look for a place in the team."

Mathieu, en conferencia de prensa.
Darren StaplesREUTERS

Barcelona defender Jérémy Mathieu is not concerned about the signing of his compatriots Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne, despite the increasing competition for places at the back ahead of the new season.

Signings: “Players in my position have arrived but it doesn’t worry me. Last season I had [to compete with] Mascherano and Vermaelen. I do my job, I do what I’m asked and last season I played as much as I hoped to. I’ll try to help them as much as I can but everybody has to try and find their own place in the team.”

Position: “The coach knows I like to play in the centre of defence, but I’ll adapt to whatever is needed.”

Umtiti: “He is a teammate and a friend, but whoever plays should do so for the benefit of the team; that’s what counts. He played very well [in the Euros], so much so that he played ahead of [Adil] Rami.”

Besiktas: “There were some talks a few weeks ago but I told the president and [Sporting director] Robert that I didn’t want to leave Barça.”

Montoya: “[Valencia] is one of Spain’s big clubs and I enjoyed my time there. It is a family. They want to win things, despite the difficult moment. We came close to playing in the Europa League final but Sevilla knocked us out. Would I recommend it? It’s an important club.”