BARCELONA

Barcelona: Arturo Vidal is not going anywhere in January says Bartomeu

Josep Maria Bartomeu would rather keep hold of the Chilean midfielder, who has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou in the winter transfer window.

Barcelona 'cannot afford' to lose Vidal in January, says Blaugrana president Bartomeu

Barcelona simply cannot afford to allow unsettled midfielder Arturo Vidal leave the club in next month's transfer window, president Josep Maria Bartomeu has warned. Vidal has featured in the starting line-up just four times in 20 matches this season and last month threatened to quit the Catalan club in the New Year if his situation continues. Coach Ernesto Valverde has opened the door for the Chilean to find a new team if a decent offer comes in, with Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta recently hinting his side are interested.

Bartomeu keen not to upset a balanced Barcelona squad

However, Bartomeu is expecting Vidal, who joined on a €18million transfer from from Bayern Munich in August 2018, to remain at Camp Nou until at least the end of the season. "No movement is expected in January," he told La Repubblica. "We have a balanced squad - we don't lack anything, but we also cannot afford to lose someone. Several times before a player has showed a willingness to leave, but never in January. In some cases we have let them go, on other occasions we have convinced them to stay."

Vidal, making Umtiti laugh on the bench

Bartomeu refuses to be drawn on Lautaro Martínez

Barcelona travel to Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday with top spot already assured in Group F, while the Italians who are second on 7 points needing to match Borussia Dortmund's result against Slavia Prague. Inter forward Lautaro Martínez has been in fine form for the Serie A leaders this season, leading to reports he is on Barça's radar, but Bartomeu was unwilling to comment on the speculation. "That's a trap question," he said. "What I can say is that Inter are playing very well and he is not the only player who has impressed me. It is no coincidence that Inter are top of Serie A."