Bartomeu: Barca cycle not over

Barcelona Vice-President Josep Maria Bartomeu does not see the club as having come to the end of their current cycle of success.

The club were hit by Bayern Munich with a 4-0 defeat in this week’s Champions League semi-final first leg to lead to suggestions in some quarters that the Catalans were reaching the end of an era.

“There is no change in the cycle. There is a structure, a club, a continuity,” the Vice-President told Catalunya Radio today. 

“We will make touches this summer because every year we have to improve.

“This is not like in 2003, when we were not winning titles. We have a solid base of players. Barca do not see next year as without Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets.

“The new project is already underway. We already spoke about that in New York. There are some parts that are pretty advanced but we cannot say anything.

“There are positions we need to strengthen. That’s life as the years pass. It is something that our Coach is managing very well.”

Vilanova missed two months of this term at the club to receive treatment in New York for cancer that had returned to one of his salivary glands.

However, Bartomeu has maintained the club’s line that he is continuing on in the role for next year.

“Tito Vilanova will lead the club next year. For one thing we have a contract and we trust him.

“It was not easy to make the transition and he has done a great job.

“It has been a very difficult year for him personally and at a sporting level, but the management has been done very well.

“We will make four or five signings this summer, we have to shake up the squad, whilst we have players in the Barcelona B team.”

Transfer speculation is that Neymar is on his way to the Camp Nou in the summer.

“The signing of Neymar has not been done. He is a player of interest to us, as I have said, and we will see what happens at the end of the season.

“He has a contract with Santos whilst we have not heard that he wants to leave Santos. If says he wants to leave, we will be one of the clubs trying to sign him. He is a request from our coaching staff.”

Bartomeu also reflected that the League remains the club’s top priority this campaign.

“The League is the first target. It has been difficult but getting to this points difference is to be celebrated because it is not easy.

“It is confirmation that the project has a future perspective.”

The Vice-President also made clear that the club must be optimistic ahead of next week’s second leg against Bayern.

“It’s hard but we can cause an upset [in the return leg]. Everything is possible. Madrid believe in their comeback and we also have to believe.

“Our players are the same as always, they have won many titles. These players are capable of anything because they are extraordinary.”

Tags Bartomeu Neymar Vilanova