Martino: No effect on Neymar

Tata Martino has said the saga around Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona has had no effect on the player.

Sandro Rosell resigned as Barcelona President earlier in the week after he was called to testify in a lawsuit brought by Jordi Cases over the transfer.

Martino told reporters that he spoke with Rosell before the announcement was made and while he would have preferred Rosell to stay on, he doesn’t feel it has changed his position at the club.

“I try to isolate myself from what is going on so the team stays in good spirits.

“Our response should always be from the football side.

“Rosell talked to me before he announced his resignations but he didn’t have to offer any reasons to me.

“He always showed great confidence in me.

“I would have preferred we stayed together but I don’t feel weaker than I did a week ago.”

Neymar has missed Barca’s last two games, the League draw with Levante and Copa del Rey win over the same opposition after he was injured in the Copa against Getafe.

Martino confirmed Neymar was on schedule to return to playing after an ankle injury and has seen no evidence the events of the week have been on the Brazilian’s mind.

“None of this will affect Neymar or his return to the team, or the team’s performance.

“His father gave permission for the club to release the numbers,” Martino added after details of Neymar’s contract were revealed by Barcelona.

Martino was asked if Rosell’s departure could alter his chances of remaining as Coach past the end of the season.

“No one in football has a guaranteed place anywhere,” Martino replied.

“No one can say anything.

“I’m not preparing for next season because I come from a place where everything happens five minutes before the season starts.”

Martino did concede that Rosell’s resignation had impacted upon the players but insisted team unity would win out.

“Togetherness isn’t required any more now than before.

“We have to enjoy being at this club and win every year in the style that’s expected of us.

“The players are saddened by the situation but know the best way forward is to do things right from a football point of view.

“Our next game against Malaga is one we know how to play but sometimes the opposition wins them.

“We need to take our chances and play an open game.”

Martino concluded by praising the fast recovery of Andres Iniesta, welcoming Ibrahim Afellay back into the fold and admitting that while he is glad to have the Dutchman back, he cannot say for sure Afellay will remain a Barcelona player this month.

Tags Martino Neymar Rosell