transfers | 2017-09-02
Albert Soler: Decisions to resign will only be made when we fail to do our jobs, we have not failed so we will not resign."
Robert Fernandez and Albert Soler talk about the transfer window and why certain players were not signed.
Technical Secretary, Robert Fernandez and Sporting Director, Albert Soler gave a lengthly press conference about the transfer window and why their objectives were not met. You can read the quotes below:
Robert Fernandez began by explaining the transfers made this window: "Gerard Deulofeu was brought back because we though he could be very useful to us. Nelson Semedo was one of several options for the Right-Back position and he was signed for that reason. We know people are doubting Paulinho's abilities but I think that he will change you opinions in the upcoming games. With regards to vermaelen, we kept him because we have a lot of confidence in him, he has great qualities and despite his injuries we think he will be able to add to this team. In terms of player's that have left us: Marlon, Munir, Samper and Douglas have been sent out on loan deals because we want them to grow in order for them to return next season."
Questions now open to the press:
Albert Soler: "What do I think about today's market? It is broken. Countries are being used as investment funds but we celebrate theat UEFA will investigate these clubs. I think UEFA and FIFA have to look into these matters as certain clubs are contravening set standards. The board feel that we should not put Barcelona at risk by getting involved in this crazy market. You asked if I think the market should come down? UEFA have made a press release yesterday saying that they will be investigating PSG. This investigation is made by UEFA not by Barcelona, we are not questioning PSG but UEFA is so it is clear that there is something going on.
Coutinho? Liverpool had given us a price of 200M for this player. Barcelona will not pay that price because as I said before, we will not put ourselves at a risk in this market. Remember that Barcelona does not have an owner and we are a fan owned club so we will not enter this market and play this game. 200M is out of the question. Coutinho wanted to come to Barcelona and he tried everything but it couldn't happen.
We should have just paid the 200M? No that kind of investment in that player would have been a risk.
222M from Neymar's deal? When clubs heard about this then they kept requesting more money from us if we approached them for a player. These were extreme amounts. Since Neymar's move, the market has been crazy and people knew we had money thats why they kept asking for more. Since Neymar left, we knew we had to move quickly and find his replacement, which we did.
Our squad? We have a magnificent squad and for many years they have been the best and I think that they still are. Valverde agrees that the current squad is good enough and the signings that have been made will help. This team is capable of winning every title, we have only played two games - you can complain after the season ends.
200M is too much but we spent 105M on Dembele? Yes, the fee paid for Dembele is the highest in our history but we made this buy for the future. This will not be done for every player we want. 105M in this market is a good buy, 200M for Coutinho was not.
Structure of the board? This will not change, everyone will have the same positions. You have asked about Pep Segura? Yes, he is still the director of sports. Segura and Robert worked together and there are no problems with the board. Robert and Segura working together helped facilitate negotiations. Barcelona is a very complex club but this board works together and we want to get the best possible results. We run things differently than in the past. My point is, this board will not take risks and we rather play it safe.
When did Neymar tell us he is leaving? On the day he left. I know there were rumours of meetings between Neymar and PSG during the US Tour but the board did not know anything at that point. We only found out he is leaving when he told us. You say that Neymar told the team at Messi's wedding? well maybe the players knew of Neymar's decision but the board did not. Neymar made his own decision and he only talked to his father and friends but not us. I was sent a Whatsapp message on the 19th of July saying that PSG and Neymar are negotiating and I remember this day because Barcelona left for their US Tour on the 19th of July, obviously the same day Neymar made his decision to leave.
The players should have told us about Neymar leaving? No I don't think it's the teams job to inform us. The team is not obliged to tell us everything they know and I don't think they should be involved. The player's personal lives have nothing to do with us.
Neymar leaving will affect us? Yes, Messi's departure will affect us. No no, not Messi! Neymar. I am talking about Neymar (Laughs) - sorry. Yes, Neymar's departure will affect us because he was a huge player for us and I think we will miss him. People who say it's good that Neymar left are wrong.
People are not happy with this board? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. People say we are doing things wrong but we know what is happening, we respect all opinions but we have been here for a while and are experianced in the footballing world.
Will we go back to our targets in the winter transfer window? We will now focus on the present and when the transfer window opens again we will make decisions on new signings. Maybe we will return to see the same targets or maybe new players.
Messi's renewal? He will sign it. Only pen to paper is needed but we have reached an agreement so consider the deal done. The board are contradicting themselves? As I said, the deal is done. There are no problems with Messi. Rememer that when Barcelona make an announcement, we don't make it for nothing - we announced that Messi has agreed to a renewal so just know that Messi will renew. Members fear that Messi will not renew? well he will. There is nothing to worry about.
Barcelona has lost International status? No we have not, we have common sense. The board just feels that we should not put our assets at risk and this is not losing, this is considered winning.
The board should resign? When members voted, they voted for this board and trusted us to act with coherence and common sense. Barcelona is a member owned fan club and we manage it for the fans with responsibility. Decisions to resign will only be made when we fail to do our jobs, we have not failed so we will not resign. I would have resigned immediately had I signed two players for 270M or one player for 200M, that's insane.
In Spain we have buyout clauses and conditions. One can see the prices of any player as it is set. If you want one of our players, you approach and we negotiate then you pay the set buyout clause but in other leagues it is different because prices are extreme as they are not set. You can see that some players clearly want to come to Barcelona and will try and force a move but their clubs are setting prices like 200M or 300M then we will not pay. We all need to have the same system with a set price for our players and not just extreme prices."
Robert Fernandez: "Valverde wanted more signings? We think that the signings made are good and we have a good team. Yes it is true that we wanted more players but we are happy with the current team. I spoke to Valverde already and we discussed the team, he is happy.
This team doesn't adapt to Messi? Well Messi can adapt to any team, he is the best player in the world. I am sure he will be fine.
Lemar and Di Maria? We worked last night on possible transfers but it could not be done. It's over now, the window has closed.
Emery said we didn't make an offer for Verratti? No that is not true. Verratti was our first priority and we were very interested because we wanted him.
Seri? Yes we were interested in him. We felt that we already had a good squad and we did not want to sign a player where the position was not available.
I said that one more player was going to be signed this week? Yes I said that but we could not sign the player we wanted. I am not saying that our current squad is not good enough, don't misinterpret me because this team is good as is.
La Masia? Last season, the B team played in division 2B and now they are back in division 2A so players will now be able to compete at a high level which we will monitor. After we analyze the players then we will bring them up into the first team.
Real Madrid's prices for their players are high? Well you are all Madrid press so you don't have to ask me about their prices because I am sure you know already."