Ernesto Valverde: Neymar situation affected Barcelona

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has admitted that the Catalan giants were affected in the early part of the campaign due to the Neymar transfer saga.


The Brazil international sealed a world-record €222m move to Paris Saint-Germain in early August, and shortly after, the Spanish outfit suffered a damaging 5-1 Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid across two legs.

Speaking prior to Barca's Copa del Rey game against third-tier Real Murcia, Valverde reflected on the turbulent days in the early part of his reign, he said: "I think everyone has their opinion. It is true that at those moments the situation really did us a bit of harm. The environment as well. There was a lot of noise around the club. But I just focus on what happens on the field, that's my job. Everything can affect that situation but I am just concerned about what happens on the field."

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Ivan Rakitic admits it was tough to take Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted that Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain was tough to take for him as a player.


The Brazil international became the world's most expensive footballer in August after Les Parisiens paid a world-record €222 million to release him from his contract.

A number of Neymar's former teammates have admitted their disappointment at the forward's decision, and Rakitic laid on the same saying: "For me, personally, it was really hard, not only because he's one of the biggest players -- also he's a big person. He was really important for our dressing room, and he's one of the best guys I know in football. So for me it was really a bad decision because I liked to have him in my team. But we have to respect Neymar's decision to move. If a team can buy him and he decides to leave Barcelona, we have to respect it and wish him the best of luck."

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Gerard Pique prepared to quit Spain before the World Cup

Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique insists that he could step down from the Spain national side if his support for the Catalonia's independence referendum is deemed an issue.


The La Masia graduate has been an open supporter of the movement, although the Spanish constitution has yet to recognise Catalonia as a separate nation.

Amid the unsuitable atmosphere outside the Camp Nou, Ernesto Valverde's side had initially tried to postpone their La Liga fixture against Las Palmas for another date. However, the Spanish football authorities denied the request and the Catalan giants were forced to play in an empty stadium to avoid a deduction of at least six points.

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Ousmane Dembele signs for Barcelona

Barcelona have officially confirmed the signing of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of around £96.6m.


The deal is likely to rise to around £135.5m with the numerous add-ons negotiated as part of the agreement.

Dembele had been the strong subject of speculation in recent weeks following Neymar's departure to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record £198m sum. Dortmund were initially reluctant to part ways with their promising prospect, but the chance to make a hefty profit from the youngster was too hard to refuse. The German giants have since recruited Andriy Yarmolenko from Dynamo Kyiv to fill the void.

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Sergio Ramos hopes Neymar leaves Barcelona for PSG

Real Madrid superstar Sergio Ramos would welcome the prospect of seeing Neymar leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain this summer.


The World Cup winner admits that the departure of Neymar would make life easier for Los Blancos, who will be defending their La Liga and Champions League crowns next term.

Barcelona insist Neymar will not be sold this summer

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has cited that Neymar will stay put at the Camp Nou as it is highly unlikely that Paris Saint-Germain will trigger his hefty release clause.


The Brazil international has a £196m escape clause on his present contract, but Bartomeu insists that Les Parisiens would have to break the Financial Fair Play regulations in order to pursue the 25-year-old forward.
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XAVI TAKES AIM

Former Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez has a very strict opinion when it comes to signing players who leave Barca for the big contracts (like Bellerin did) only to profess their love for the club and beg for a return as soon as they make it big!

Hector Bellerin is a 22 year old defender who began his playing career in the youth academy of Barcelona but chose to move to Arsenal, where he has a contract with which extends until 2023. Tabloid press have linked the Spanish club with bringing Bellerin back to Camp Nou but Xavi Hernandez on the other hand has a very different opinion about bringing Hector Bellerin back.

Ander Herrera to ignore Barcelona interest this Summer

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera will reportedly snub a reunion with Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona in order to stay put at Old Trafford next season.


The 27-year-old joined the Red Devils from Athletic Bilbao back in the summer of 2015, and had spent his initial years trying to find his best position. Under Jose Mourinho, Herrera was deployed in a deep lying central midfield role last season, and this managed to get the best of his abilities.
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Recently appointed ambassador wants to sign Veratti

"Abidal will form a permanent part of the globetrotting veterans team, as well as collaborating with institutional events... assisting with activities related with the FCBEscola soccer schools.


He will always be fondly remembered here at the Camp Nou and it is with great joy that we can now welcome him back to the club in a permanent capacity."
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Christian Tello open to Barcelona return

Spanish footballer Christian Tello could return to Barcelona for the final year of his contract after Fiorentina decided against exercising the buy option on his loan contract.


The 25-year-old joined La Viola on an initial six-month loan in January 2016 which was extended by a further year last summer.

Tello, who has attracted previous Premier League interest, has not quite lived to his early hype, and he is currently assessing his future with a Barcelona comeback also an option under new boss Ernesto Valverde.

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