Joan Laporta: 'We have a very competitive team'

Joan Laporta: 'We have a very competitive team'

FC Barcelona president discusses various matters in a three-way interview with Sport, Mundo Deportivo and l’Esportiu

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has discussed a number of relevant matters in an interview with Sport, Mundo Deportivo and l'Esportiu. Here are some of the main points he made.

Transfer market

"I am convinced that all the operations will be made. The feasibility plans has been approved, but we need to stick to it.We have a very competitive team that's already won the league. I'm focusing on building a team rather than signing individuals. We have already signed Gündogan and Iñigo Martínez and they'll perform for us, as will the others still to come."

"As the coach has said, we need a right back and two midfielders. I don't think that should be too hard, there are several possibilities. We already have a perfectly decent squad, but we need something in midfield to replace Sergio Busquets."

"The project is a good one and I'm pleased that Alemany has stayed. A certain circumstance arose but I'm very, very happy that he ended up staying, because he's creating an increasingly more competitive team. But Mateu is a man who keeps his calm, he doesn't lose his marbles when negotiating, he knows how to be persistent and to keep persevering. He's a skilled operator."

Vitor Roque

"Vitor Roque has been signed. We have our feasibility plan and it's planned for January or June, unless the circumstances improve. The contract is done and dusted and he is a Barça player. He has 'joga bonito'."

"I expect goals from him. He very much has a style of his own. He can't be compared to Ronaldo or Romario. He prowls the area and shoots with both feet from anywhere. I have watched a lot of videos, but have yet to see him in person."

Relationship with Tebas

"We have restored our relationship with the league and on a personal level with Tebes. I made the first move by going to his house in Huesca. The visit will help the flow of institutional relations, but we won't be getting any privileges. Tebas isn't that kind of person."

Competing in Europe

"The team will be competing in Europe next season, I have no worries there. The UEFA investigation concluded that we can't be deemed guilty without a trial. We understand that to be the situation and that's what we've been told by UEFA Appeals Committee, and everything says we'll be playing in the Champions League, something that's been difficult."

Leo Messi

"We had the go-ahead from LaLiga and there was a place for Leo to come back. We spoke to the player and his father Jorge, and when it was announced that he was going to Inter Miami, they told me why, and I understand, accept and respect those reasons."

"Someone said we should pay tribute to him on occasion of the 125th anniversary, when it would be great to include him and all the others who have made Barça so great in the last century and a quarter."

Xavi's contract

"Xavi has a contract and we have an excellent relationship. When the time comes, we'll talk about a new contract. Xavi is a noble, honest man and is the first person to thank for all these brilliant results. We think we need to reassess his contract because he came at a very difficult time and we'll need to look at things again."

xavi entrenament

Ousmane Dembélé

"The coach is very fond of Dembélé, as is the technical secretary, and me too. His agents are a bit awkward when it comes to negotiations. We are currently working on getting him to stay and we hope things work out right. Fortunately, he wants to stay here. He loves it at Barça, but there are things to clear up."

Ansu Fati

"Ansu Fati has a contract. Everything suggests this season will be better for him than the last, which started with an injury and then there was a relapse. For club and country, everything is getting better for him. He wants to be a success at Barça, and his agent and everyone around him want more from him, but that all depends on the player."

Basketball market

"Mirotic hasn't gone yet. That's not resolved and it's a serious matter. He has an excellent contract but it's not sustainable. I hope the Palau reacts by giving its full support to Roger Grimau."

"Work is being done to sign the Hernángómez brothers. That doesn't mean they would both come but we are working on it. They are two NBA players and one was the MVP of the EuroLeague. I'd love to see such good players come here."

Move to Montjuïc

"It won't be easy. It won't be comfortable. But I think every fan understands that this is a stage we'll have to get through if we are to have our dream stadium. We have to make sacrifices and I apologise for the inconvenience, but it doesn't mean we can't continue leading la Liga and do much better in Europe."

Spotify Camp Nou

"I am watching developments every day. I know I'm like one of those old retirees who stands watching builders but I find the whole thing very nostalgic, as well as imagining what the new ground is going to be like. I'm excited. I might make these visits part of my routine. I'll make a point of inspecting the work every Wednesday. It's such a nice feeling to see how things are progressing. I love it."

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