In twin press conferences on Friday, new Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta made declarations that clarify the direction that the team will take in the 2012-13 season. Both men have now made it clear that the priority in terms of new players will be to reinforce the defense, with scouts looking for a new central and left defender. Vilanova appears to be satisfied with the current Barcelona attack which will surely be buoyed by the return of David Villa.
The new manager laid out his thinking about transfers: “We want to strengthen the defense because we had problems with those positions and had to use players out of their normal positions. Up front, the idea is that we don’t need anyone. Last year was an odd year with injuries to players like Villa, Alexis or Pedro, players who are very important and who score goals. We hope to have a more normal year this season. And also we have Tello, Cuenca and Messi.”
Both men clarified their positions about a number of current players, most notably Dani Alves and Seydou Keita. About the future of Alves, Vilanova was clear: “Dani Alves is staying. There is no possibility of his departure.” Keita as well was invited to stay “if he wants to.”
Image: Siu Wu [AP]