2 July 2014 13:28
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was unmoved on speculation that the club are in negotiations to bring Luis Suarez to Camp Nou.
Suarez’s future at current club Liverpool has been cast in doubt after the 27-year-old was handed a four-month ban from all football activity and a nine-match international suspension for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
After initially proclaiming his innocence, Suarez subsequently apologised, and was praised by Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta for his remorse, further fuelling talk of a switch.
Reports in the media have suggested that Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre is set to meet with Barcelona officials to strike a deal.
And while Bartomeu confirmed that Barcelona are in the process of reinforcing the first team, he refused to specifically name Suarez as a target.
“I did say that this year we are going to be restructuring the team in depth and we’re working on that,” he said at a press conference.
“We’ve been working on that since February. But I can’t reveal things we’re doing. It’s a textbook situation we have to be discreet on these things, we cannot give clues to other teams.
“I will say that we do have a lot of negotiations at an advanced stage, but people are at the World Cup so negotiations aren’t all as far as we would like.
“But people are going to speculate about players that are at the World Cup and who we could sign but there’s an awful lot of factors.
“Suarez is not a Barca player he’s a Liverpool player so I can’t speak about him. I can speak about what he did, to come out and apologise it is honourable.”
Having missed out the Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey titles last season, Bartomeu conceded Barcelona underachieved under Gerardo Martino.
But Bartomeu is confident that Barcelona’s reshaping of the first-team squad, including new head coach Luis Enrique, will help bring about an upturn in fortunes.
“We want to be able to once again win every competition we take part in,” he added. “Bringing Luis Enrique on board is an example of what we want to do.
“We’re bringing in players who are part of our philosophy but also bring something new to the club.
“Let’s not forget we have Neymar, [Lionel] Messi, [Andres] Iniesta, we have the best players in the world here. They’re all here, we’re a unique team and are privileged to have them with us.”