Quique Setien has spoken his mind about many of the players FC Barcelona are being linked with in the current transfer market.
First up, and not surprisingly, Setien discussed the never-ending saga that would bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou:
“Without doubt, I would love to be able to coach Neymar one day. Absolutely. He is a player who is at an exceptional level, nobody can place that in doubt. I have already fulfilled the dream of coaching the best in the world, which is Leo Messi. As for those who could come in, we’ll have to see, but I would be delighted.”
“There are lots of conditions behind it, like the financial aspect. But who is to say Neymar won’t return? He is a very complete player, extraordinary. I love those kid of players – they make your eyes light up. His individual quality is… mamma mia!”
As I have been discussing at The Barcelona Podcast for several months, I agree that re-signing Neymar would be a great move for Barca. Sure, the way in which the Brazilian forward left our club to join PSG was far from ideal but, especially given Messi’s limited timeline, I believe his arrival is necessary.
When fully healthy, Neymar is still amongst the Top 5 forwards in world football and can single-handedly decide matches at the highest level. He already has a great relationship with Messi, he understands the way Barca operates both on and off the pitch and, now more mature and having spent several years in Paris, I am sure he would appreciate the chance to play for the Blaugranas much more than he once did.
Setien was also asked about his thoughts on Lautaro Martinez, who has been impressive at Inter Milan this season:
“It’s clear that there are four or five players who play in that position that are extraordinary and that any of them could be at Barcelona. Lautaro Martinez is a player who would be very useful. He is an important player, a great player, and Barcelona are always interested in great players, of course.”
“But in these times without football, a different name comes out every day. For many players the opportunity to be able to play with Messi represents a huge incentive.”
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Setien didn’t dodge questions about Bosnian international Miralen Pjanic either:
“I’ve always said I like all top players and as they are top players then it follows that they could end up at Barcelona. He is a great player like dozens of others.”
The Barcelona manager also addressed Messi’s recent remarks, when the Argentinean star doubting FC Barcelona were on the right track to win the Champions League unless major improvement was immediately visible:
“I think Messi’s words have generated a lot of debate. We’re convinced that we can win the Champions League. We have to improve some things, but we’re completely convinced that the team has the potential to win the Champions League.”