Bartomeu: “Dembélé has higher level than Neymar”-Coutinho out only if clause is paid

Bartomeu: “Dembélé has higher level than Neymar”-Coutinho out only if clause is paid


Barça President 

With Frenkie de Jong and Emerson, two new additions to FC Barcelona for the upcoming season have already been announced – the Catalans are investing a total of 87 million euros in the two youngsters. Some current professionals, such as Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic, meanwhile, are increasingly rumored for a farewell at Barça. President Josep Maria Bartomeu (Photo) wants to keep the competition high in the Spanish Champion’s side.

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“Every year they exist,” Bartomeu said on “El Rondo,” broadcast on the TV channel “TVE Catalunya,” in reference to possible sales amongst the club’s loaned players. He continued, “We’ve loaned players and in May we’ll see what we’re allowed to do. Every year these movements take place. Some will leave and others will stay.” So far, the only thing that is certain is that Paco Alcácer will switch firmly to BVB for 23 million euros. According to reports, André Gomes (Everton) and Denis Suárez (Arsenal FC) are also expected to leave the club. The top class players, however, will remain in the Barça squad: “The economic results are good. There’s no urgency to make sales if we want to have a competitive team.”

Midfielder Rakitic has most recently been linked with a possible move to Inter Milan. The 31-year-old is said to be unhappy that his contract with the Catalans has not yet been renewed. “In the summer I had a conversation with him and I told him we would speak to him as soon as possible to improve his contract,” Bartomeu explained. He continued, “We haven’t spoken because of the schedule and because we have salary limits. It’s not easy. But we’re going to talk to him.” At Juventus, Samuel Umtiti has recently been talked about as a replacement for the outgoing Andrea Barzagli. In response Bartomeu said, “We’ve extended with him before the World Cup, and he’s got four years left on contract. Umtiti is not an issue.”

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Ivan Rakitic

I. Rakitic



Central Midfield

Despite several rejections, rumors continue to circulate about a possible Barça return for Neymar. The 27-year-old star-studded Brazilian moved to Paris Saint-Germain for € 222m in 2017. The Catalans reinvested the sum in Ousmane Dembélé and Coutinho. The president said, “It’s not possible for the Brazilian to come because we have another sporting project with Dembélé and Coutinho,” He boldly continued, “We’re happy with what we’ve got. Dembélé has a higher level than Neymar. And he’s a good professional. He’s young and he’s come to a big club. It’s not easy, but he’s already adapted. He’s a much better player than Neymar.”

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Paris Saint-Germain


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Left Winger


Left Winger


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There has also been speculation about a potential farewell from Coutinho in the summer. Bartomeu now put a stop to this: “He’s an excellent player. (…) He has the confidence of the Coach. We are very happy.” Furthermore, Bartomeu said, “He’s got a contract and will keep playing unless they pay the exit clause.” The exit clause enshrined in the Brazilian’s contract, which is valid until 2023, is 400 million euros.

Market Value

Philippe Coutinho

P. Coutinho



Attacking Midfield

Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann is not currently a topic either: “He is an Atlético player and has a contract.” Bartomeu said, “If Griezmann wanted to come, he’d have to talk to the coaches, but his name isn’t on the table right now. There is a lot of speculation in the press (…). He didn’t call Barcelona.” However, the Club boss did not want to completely rule out a commitment from Griezmann, whose clause is reportedly lowering from 200 to 120 million euros. “If there are exit clauses, the decision is up to the player,” Bartomeu said. “We’ll talk to the coaches at the end of April or the beginning of May,” he explained.  Last Summer Griezmann was rumored for a transfer but didn’t make the move. “We’ve got the cases of Thierry Henry, David Villa and Cesc Fàbregas. It’s not easy to change the team, and the way to convince them is difficult,” explained the president.

Forever at Barcelona, star player Lionel Messi is expected to stay. “We’ve got to talk. We all want him to be associated with Barça for the rest of his life,” Bartomeu explained. Looking ahead to a possible contract for life, Bartomeu said, “Before I leave as President, I’d like to leave him behind extended. He would never leave the club. Even if he had a one-euro clause, he would stay.” Currently his exit clause is 700 million euros.

Lionel Messi L. Messi FC Barcelona
Right Winger
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Bartomeu also revealed that de Jong’s signing was announced earlier than planned in January. “We rushed ahead because there were a lot of rumors that another team wanted him,” the Spaniard explained. “We wanted to do it in June, but we had to do it because there was a lot of pressure,” said the President.




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