Barcelona Vice-President Josep Maria Bartomeu has given his verdict on Tito Vilanova’s first weeks in charge of the Catalan giants.
“With Tito, for now I will give him a nine [out of 10]. Tito knows what he wants and makes some very good decisions, and we like that a lot,” acknowledged Bartomeu in an interview with La Graderia.
He also commented on Santos’ Brazilian star Neymar, who has constantly been linked with a move to Barcelona but is yet to make a firm decision on his future.
“Neymar has a contract with Santos until 2014 but he is a player who would fit in perfectly with Barcelona’s style of football.
“We haven’t paid anything for him yet, but he wants to play in Europe and if he wants to come here then we will go all out for him.”
Bartomeu then referred to the possibility of lifetime contracts for both Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez and the subject of Cristian Tello’s renewal.
“Lifetime contracts, no. We want them to be with us until they retire. They are two different things. We want them to play as long as they are able to.
“With Tello we are negotiating for him to continue because the coaching staff thinks a lot of him. Everything points to him having a great career with Barca and he will be one of our stars of the future.”
There were also words for Alexis Sanchez and Bartomeu’s take on the recent on-field spat between Lionel Messi and David Villa in the game with Granada.
“I would give Alexis higher than a five” he said, continuing the theme of rating players out of 10. “He has been very modest but his ambition is very good.
“If I give him at least a five it’s because he wants to improve and he can give us even more.
“Messi, professionally, was born here. He was brought up with this project, believes in it and is its leader. Money is not an issue. At no other club would he be so happy.
“The dressing room is great and the players get along very well. There is also a good feeling with the fans, who are still enjoying it, and more trophies will come.”
In addition, he revealed that the club had looked closely at the contract of Alberto Botia, a former Barcelona player who was sent out on loan to Sporting Gijon but is now with Sevilla.
“Sporting have not given us a percentage of the money relating to his formation as a footballer,” explained Bartomeu, who also referred to Barca’s treatment by referees this campaign.
“We don’t think we have been badly treated by the officials but we want the balance between right and wrong to be evened out.”