Tata Martino has insisted at a Saturday morning Press conference that he is happy with Barcelona’s defence ahead of the new season.
The Catalans have been linked with various centre-backs over the summer, including Thiago Silva, Daniel Agger and David Luiz, but new Barca boss Martino said he was satisfied with what he already has and, if anything changes, he is prepared to wait until the winter transfer window.
“I know what the club was doing before my arrival regarding a central defender. What I will say is that we have [Carles] Puyol, who is recovering from injury, as well as [Gerard] Pique, [Javier] Mascherano and [Marc] Bartra, while we can also include Adriano and [Sergio] Busquets, so we are okay.
“If we get any injuries then we still have the winter transfer market,” the Argentine told gathered media.
Martino was asked how he saw his team playing this season and the effect Neymar would have on the side.
“We’ve already seen against Santos the pressure we exert after losing the ball, although we want to do that with more consistency so it lasts longer and means we are able to play further away from our own penalty area.
“With Neymar it’s hard to imagine somebody of his class won’t bring something Barca needs. He’s linked up well with Leo [Messi] and the rest and looks comfortable.
“The only thing we have to be is realistic about is when we introduce him into the team. He’s had less time than the others, including me, and has probably worked less on the physical side of things.
“Therefore, we want to introduce him step by step, not pressurise him, so he gains both in a physical and football sense. We are going to be relaxed with Neymar because he is a great player who will bring a lot to the team.”
The 50-year-old was also questioned on what his aspirations were at Barcelona.
“The same desires as all the others who have been here before me and are still to come – to be able to play good football and win. Barcelona is an establishment where the present Coach takes a lot more responsibility for failure than any success.
“However, my wish is to join the team in having another good season. That is what I want.”
Barca kick off the new La Liga campaign with a home match against Levante and Martino knows it is important to get off to a good start against Joaquin Caparros’ men.
“My major worry is that we play well tomorrow and win. It’s important to breed confidence and send a message to the rest of the League.
“It’s essential we win and maintain the same style that Barcelona has had in winning matches.
“With Caparros I don’t have to add much to what has already been said about him in his career. I came across him when he was at Athletic Bilbao and he always has competitive teams.
“Levante are what they are. Some players have left and others have come in. [Vicente] Iborra has gone to Sevilla, so I still don’t know which line-up they will start the game with,” he admitted.