Martino: Cesc is staying

Gerardo Martino expects Barcelona to keep Cesc Fabregas, as he reflects on how he intends to ‘keep Lionel Messi comfortable’ at the club.

The Argentine was presented today as the Catalans’ new Coach and faced a number of topics of discussion, including midfielder Fabregas’ future.

The 26-year-old has been increasingly linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, with reports today suggesting that he wants the transfer too.

However, Martino has indicated a belief that the player will be staying put.

“Obviously I’m not going to get involved in the economic aspects of the club but in this case I think it is obvious that we are going to keep him here,” considered the 50-year-old to reporters today.

“Considering the club has already rejected two offers, I would guess they will reject a third.

“In other words, Fabregas will remain here.”

Speculation also surrounds Jonathan dos Santos’ future, with Real Sociedad in line to take him on a loan deal.

“Today we are counting on all of the players that are in the squad. We will get to meet them and then start to work with them, we could be with them all for the rest of the season.

“But obviously there are institutional decisions that may have been taken before I arrived, but in principle he is a member of the squad.

“For the motivation, the competition between the players, what Barca means, all the competitions that come up, I don’t think that any of the players can think that over the next 12 months that they wont get the chance to make themselves an important player.

“Anyone in the squad cannot think that they are not an important player.”

The Coach was asked if he is considering any names to bring in to the squad.

“I don’t think I can give an opinion yet, I’ve not trained with the players yet, I’ve only spoken to [Carles] Puyol this morning.

“We have to try and get to know the players first before anything is decided.”

At a farewell Press conference held in Argentina earlier this week, Martino commented on his belief that Lionel Messi had a say in his appointment.

However, on from Messi’s denial, the Argentine followed up with his own explanation.

“We are both from Rosario, yet we don’t know each other, that’s the main point. I assumed that it was logical that they talked to him. Listen to what he said though, I wasn’t in the conversation about that, I have only spoken to the President and to Andoni [Zubizarreta].

“His role under me? He’s played in different positions over the years and in the last few years he’s played as a centre forward with his own characteristics.

“If I have to make a statement now then I would say that he will continue to play in the same position.

“There’s nothing really different we will change about Messi, we will make sure that he is comfortable in the team, whilst we will also look after everyone else.

“Can he play with Neymar? I don’t think that two players like Messi and Neymar cannot play together. If they cannot then it will be the Coach’s problem, not theirs.”

Tags Fabregas Martino Messi