transfers | 2016-07-15
Digne: "I don't have good memories of my two games against Barça last season."
Lucas Digne, Sporting vice president Jordi Mestre, the director of professional sports Albert Soler and the technical secretary Robert Fernández were present at the press conference yesterday and discussed the new transfer.
Here is a full trascript of the press conference that took place ahead of signing Lucas Digne:
Soler: "Digne has cost 16.5 million and 4M in variables. We've always said that we have 60M + sales, which would leave us with around 23-25M to spend. There might be more sales that mean income. If there's an interesting opportunity on the market we can take money from next season.
The FIFA sanction affected the academy teams, not just the first team. It was a chain of events that hurt Barça B too. The B team has the objective of preparing players for the 1st team, but the 1st team has such a high level that makes it complicated. We've signed players that will help the B team get promoted, because the optimum place for it to be is in Segunda. We have the case of Denis Suárez who was ready to play in Primera, but wasn't ready to play for Barça yet."
Mestre: "I want to welcome Lucas and thank him for the effort he did coming here after he had surgery yesterday. We wish him success during his 5 years here and hope he enjoys this fantastic city.
We're very proud of the club's academy project. I know La Masia well, it has great professionals and players. It's a particular circumstance right now that B team players don't reach the first team, but we're caring for the academy. The club is committed to the academy, we'll keep this commitment for a lot of years.
Our objective as a club is tho do what we can so that the first team wins trophies. We've had an unique generation, but it's not always the same.
The model a lot of people and that I would like would be to be like Athletic Club with only homegrown players. If we are ok with having Athletic's results then fine, if not we'll sign players from wherever they are that can help us."
Robert Fernandez: "Lucas is facing a great challenge, his success will be all of ours.You have to analyze the type of player and his maturity. Lucas fits all the criteria and he will help us a lot.
In attack we can sign a veteran or a young player. We won't be long in deciding. We'll do the best for the club. Now is not the time to talk about players that might leave. The player that will come will be the 4th, 5th or 6th FW, but a player will come.
When we sign young players like Lucas, Denis or Samuel we think that they have our profile and we have more time to work on them. The French league has very good players, I've always liked it and I could see a lot of games there. The adaptation of French players in Spain has always been fast and that's something that is important.
We've always had the need to sign a LB. To be able to compete at the level we have to we can't depend on only one player. We've analyzed a lot of situations and decided to sign Lucas because we think he'll adapt fast and he's a great player. We don't need to sign a RB because we have Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal. Signing someone else would block one of them.
I'll fight to make sure that none of the two goalkeepers leave. I'm hearing a lot of things about the GKs. They're both extraordinary. My idea is that they both stay here.
We're not worried about Leo's future, we want him to enjoy his vacation and get back to training as soon as possible. I didn't call Leo because he's on vacation and he has to rest. Players want to relax and be left alone on vacation.
I know the academy well because I've see a lot of games. Right now the B team players aren't ready to join the 1st team. Analyzing what we had we were obligated to sign players. If we think that a player can join the first team from the B team in 2 years the strategy is different."
Digne: "I'm very touched by the great reception that I've gotten from Barça's fans. It's a great honor for me to be here. Barça is the greatest club in the world and I'm very happy to start this adventure.
Maybe at first I'll be closer to Umtiti because I've known him for years. I hope to learn the language fast & get close to others. I talked to Mathieu about Barça's interest and with Umtiti during the Euro. And I've talked to Robert during the last weeks.
I like attacking a lot, a modern fullback has to do that in addition to defending. I've improved this last area a lot. Every player has his style and has to enhance his qualities. I'm looking for stability and the project of Barça is an enormous one. I want to improve and work every day to do my best.
I feel very motivated by the idea of training with Barça's players, they're the best in the world, that will help me improve a lot. I'm more mature now than when I joined PSG and I come here after a very good season at Roma. I think Barça's style is perfect for me.
I found out about Barça's interest at the start of the Euro and I knew that I had to come here. I'll train the best I can and when the coach calls me I'll be available to prove myself. I don't care what number I'll have, I only wanted to wear this shirt.
I don't have good memories of my two games against Barça last season. I've watched a lot of Barça games and of course I've studied Alba a lot because he's a modern fullback. Starting or being on the bench depends on the coach. I'll give the best I have every day. We all want to play."