Vice president Josep María Bartomeu and Director of Football Andoni Zubizarreta held a press conference yesterday afternoon to discuss with the media the latest transfer window as well as some of the players on Barça’ squad. Below are some key quotes and passages.
It took until the very end of the 45 minute session for the first question on Tito Vilanova to be asked by journalists. Zubizaretta responded, “You haven’t asked me about him until now because he is the best news [of the summer]. I want to say that things are going very well.”
Zubizarreta was asked about Messi’s contract, despite it only expiring in 2016, and he was clear in his response that this isn’t a relevant issue. “We have not spoken about issues around a contract with Messi. When the time comes, we will talk, but not publicly.”
Bartomeu – “I don’t know one Barça fan that does not want Messi to retire at the club.”
Zubizarreta – “Alba has adapted quickly. Perhaps he had an advantage playing with the national team, knowing La Liga, and because he was here before.”
No doubt Zubizaretta was keen to further instil confidence in Song, amplifying his positive start at the club. “Our first option to buy a central midfielder was Alex Song. We are very happy because he has had a quick learning process.”
Zubizarreta – “We are very happy with Cesc. If he had scored against Valencia, he would have had a fantastic game.”
Zubizarreta – “We have had initial conversations [about contract renewal] and I don’t think the negotiations will be long.” He also noted the negotiations are unique due to his “age” and “value at the club”.
“Ins” and “Outs”
Zubizarreta told the media that there was not “one offer” from other clubs for David Villa or any of the important starters at the club.
Concerning a question from a journalist about Fernando Llorente and the fact his contract will expire in June 2013, Zubi simply said he was not an option this summer.
Bartomeu explained the situation with Bojan after his move to AC Milan. “We cannot talk about the exact figures, but we have signed an agreement with Milan that includes an option [for Milan] to buy Bojan. We have also kept the option to block that purchase option so the player stays [at Barça].” From previous information quoted, Barça can re-buy Bojan for 13 million Euros next summer should they choose.
Source: fcbarcelona.com; Image: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)