Neymar Sale Returns Barca To Tradition —Bartomeu

The world-record transfer of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain has presented Barcelona with the chance to return to their traditions, according to president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

European football was left stunned when the Brazil star completed a move to Ligue 1 after PSG paid his €220million release clause to shatter the record for the most expensive signing in history.

Barca broke their own club record to bring in Ousmane Dembele as a replacement, paying an initial €105m fee to Borussia Dortmund that could reportedly rise to as much as €150m.

Attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool proved fruitless and other targets including Jean Michael Seri and Angel Di Maria also eluded the Catalans before the Spanish transfer window closed on September 1.

But Bartomeu believes that the club can return to their roots of a strong team collective and a focus on academy players now that the ‘MSN’ trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar has been broken up.

“It’s better to have the talent at the club,” he conceded to reporters. “But you can’t be too pessimistic. It’s an opportunity for Barcelona to break the trident and to bet on collective play.

“We’re coming off Luis Enrique’s project and now there’s head coach Ernesto Valverde. There’s total confidence in him. He’s a boss that believes in the Barca model and in players from La Masia.

“It’s an opportunityto e nd the strength of the trident. It’s been really good but it’s had consequences. It’s an opportunity to play a return to collective football in midfield, which is traditionally Barca’s strength.

“His exit allows us to strengthen the model, to not fall back on the trident all the time. Plus, we’ve got money. We’ve earned €105m and there’s more to invest in football, in assets… Let’s see what we do.

“It’s an opportunity, with a new manager, a new project. We can’t be pessimists. Let’s stop being pessimistic!

“Internally there’s no pessimism. People think Neymar’s exit weakens the team. The opposite. We have to take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen the team.”

SOURCE: Daily Times NG.

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