The Camp Nou was the venue on Wednesday for the presentation of the first new signing for Barça’s 2016/17 season. Denis Suárez was joined at a press conference by technical secretary Robert Fernández and the director for professional sports Albert Soler in the Ricard Maxenchs pressroom, where Fernández commented that regarding ins and outs this summer: “the priority is to hang onto the good players that we already have.”
The questions flying around the pressroom referred both to current members of the squad and to potential new signings, with Fernández insisting in his belief that “we already have a very good team. But we have to keep strengthening it and adding new value”.
“There are issues that still need to be sorted out” he said when the name of Javier Mascherano came up. “We’ve been doing that with Rafinha, Sergio Busquets and Neymar Jr, and now it’s time to do the same with Mascherano. He has told us that he wants to stay here, and that’s comforting to know.”
He also made it clear that “the arrival of Denis Suárez does not affect the possible inclusion of a new striker. But there is plenty of time left this summer.” Speaking more directly about the new acquisition, he commented on the importance of “a player that left for another club being able to come back.”
Another name to be floated was that of Marc Bartra, who has left for Borussia Dortmund. Robert Fernández explained that “the club didn’t want to lose him. Situations change during negotiations, and you never have complete control. The player decided to go and we can only wish him all the best for the future.”
Albert Soler also contributed to the various discussions, commenting that “the model we have for young players is for them to be able to leave and continue their development elsewhere. But there is always the chance that they can come back. But that does not necessarily mean that Sergi Samper has to leave. We’re talking to the player so we can decide on what’s best for his future.”