Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has defended underfire Quique Setien ahead of the Champions League clash against Napoli at the Camp Nou.
Setien came under immense threat after losing the La Liga to Real Madrid despite being two points ahead of RealMadrid before football was off the menu five months ago.
Bartomeu insisted that the former Real Betis manager is still the right man for the job despite his future being linked away from Camp Nou.
“He has a contract,” Bartomeu told Sport when asked about Setien’s future.”When we hired him, we explained that it was a project for this season and all of next.
“Evaluating a coach after a few months, with a pandemic in the middle, is difficult.”Naturally, with the summer transfer window on its way, Bartomeu was quizzed about the possibility of Neymar returning to the club.
“It’s not viable in this situation,” he said.”[Paris Saint-Germain] don’t want to sell him either, which is normal because he’s one of the best players in the world.
“We tried very hard last summer, but this year there won’t be an attempt.”Although Bartomeu doesn’t think that spending big money is a possibility this summer, he did acknowledge that Lautaro Martinez is someone the club are looking to bring in.”Players at Lautaro’s level cannot be ruled out,” he added.”
Barcelona has spoken with Inter for a number of weeks, but talks stopped because of a mutual agreement with Inter.”The situation doesn’t allow for big investments, but it’s possible to sign with player swaps.
“Lastly, the president is adamant that Lionel Messi will stay at the Camp Nou.”He’ll finish his career at Barcelona,” Bartomeu said.”
still has three or four more years of excellent football left.”His next contract will finish next year but I have no doubt that he’ll keep his word and end his career here.”
Barcelona will welcome Gennaro Gattuso men at the Camp Nou during the weekend for the reverse fixture of the round of 16.