NEWS
Saturday September 9 2017
Robert: Iniesta staying at Barca

Robert Fernandez has assured that Andres Iniesta will stay at Barcelona, “not just for the year he has left.”

Iniesta recently denied claims made by Barca President Josep Maria Bartomeu that he was close to signing a new contract, amidst speculation that he could join Juventus, but Robert made it clear the midfielder was going nowhere.

“Iniesta? The situation is that he’ll stay with us. We’re talking about a very special player for everyone,” the director told Movistar after Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of Espanyol in the Catalan derby.

He was born here in a footballing sense. The deal with Andres is special because he has earned it by his way of being, his conduct, the joys he has given us and I’m convinced that he will give us many more. He had an extraordinary game.

“He gives us that calmness and gets us out of complicated situations. He gives us things that others can’t. We want him here, but not just for the year he has left.

“Conclusions of the transfer market? We started very well. It was a busy summer for many reasons and some things didn’t go so well so, logically, we’ve had to adapt and move very quickly.

“Our rivals had information, which could’ve helped them know our situation. The reality was what it was and sometimes you can’t fight it, but things went well. We would’ve liked another player to arrive, but it wasn’t to be.

“Arda? We want the players we have to be here. I’m not going to talk about a particular situation.

“There’s been too much information on the outside and I don’t want to give out any more.

“When you’re going to sign a player and he wants to come but goes on strike, it’s nothing to do with us. It’s not a pleasant situation.

“Winning? It always helps and we must continue. The season’s very long, but ultimately you finish where you deserve to be.

“Messi? His first goal was clearly offside, but he’s just come back from representing his country and he had to travel after some complicated matches.

“He’s a player who, at any moment, can make the difference. His contract? I refer to the words of the President. It can happen any minute now and I hope it will soon.

“Suarez? It’s important for him to see his opponents’ goal. He works and fights, but No 9s always need that one goal. We’re very happy for everything.

“Neymar? We’ll always recognise his value to the club, but life goes on, there are other players and we hope they’re just as good.

“Dembele? I’ve seen him well. It’s difficult for a 20-year-old to play and, much more so, without serious training behind him.

“It’s good for a player to jump straight onto the pitch, but he still did well and is in very good condition.

“Paulinho? He’ll give us a lot because he’s a different player to Dembele. He has great movement and character and gives us depth.

“Calls for Bartomeu’s resignation? We’ve all had a difficult month and when you’re in a situation like this, the most important thing is to be calm.

“We’ve had a very busy summer, and calmness is now needed. If we let time run its course, things will look different.

“We let people read things as they see fit, but we’ve had two or three difficult weeks.

“Surprised by Real Madrid? Competition is difficult and complicated. At the start of last season, Alaves beat us here.

“There are still many points to be picked up, but it’s important to start well.”

Football Italia website