‘Barca waiting on CAS appeal’

Andoni Zubizarreta has discussed Barcelona’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over their two-transfer window transfer ban.

Barca were sanctioned by FIFA for the signing of underage players and, as it stands, will not be able to add to their squad until the winter transfer window of January 2016.

Zubi has given a lengthy interview to Esport3, in which he discussed Lionel Messi, as well as Luis Enrique, Tata Martino and Luis Suarez.

When the subject of Barca’s appeal was raised, he indicated there was little he could say until CAS make a decision, but Zubi did give an insight into his work as sporting director.

“We’re waiting on CAS. My job isn’t only to sign players but to watch the market,” he said, AS reports.

“There are variables, such as a serious injury, and things that go beyond the market. There’s tracing methodology, forming a team that works…’

Douglas was Barca’s last signing of the summer and Zubi revealed why the club added the Brazilian, and gave an indication as to the status of Dani Alves.

“Sometimes we sign people who aren’t so well known,” he said of Douglas, who joined from Sao Paulo.

“He’s an interesting player who gives options in attack and in defence. He comes straight from Brazil and that leap isn’t easy.

“Douglas has a good attitude. I signed him knowing we might not be able to sign anyone next year. I preferred to get him now than to bring him in two years.

“We’ve not done anything about Alves’ renewal. We have talked about a contract with him.

“We’ll see what road we go down. The decision of FIFA will also have an influence.

“He is the best though and we’ve seen an incisive Dani can be important.”

Zubi also gave an update on the fitness of summer signing Thomas Vermaelen, who has yet to appear for Barca after leaving Arsenal, the status of Pedro Rodriguez and the possibility of Sevilla sporting director Monchi taking a post at Camp Nou, alongside Carles Puyol.

“Vermaelen has recovered from injury but we want him to be 100%. We hope he is now,” he said of the Belgium international.

“There’ve been no offers for Pedro coming to my office and he isn’t on the market.

“Monchi? I have a good relationship with him. Besides, he’s another former goalkeeper. I met him when he was stadium director at Sevilla and he’s done a good job.

“It will be a month since Puyol started [in Zubi’s department] on Monday and he’s in the process of adapting. He lets us see how the players see things.

“He’s a good point of vision and he’s learning quickly. He’s helping us fix things.”

Zubi returned to the subject of goalkeepers by discussing four of them – Barca pair Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Victor Valdes, formerly of Barca, and Iker Casillas.

“We already knew Bravo and he already knew the League,” Zubi noted.

“The [minutes without conceding] record is an anecdotal thing. He, Ter Stegen and [Jordi] Masip give us the first pass, the ball out. It’s true he was the preferred choice of Martino.

“Ter Stegen is recovered from the mistake [against Paris Saint-Germain]. He has the personality to overcome any setback.

“Valdes? I don’t know anything about what he’s doing but I wish him well.

“Casillas is one of the great legends of football, measured by the height of what he’s achieved.

“That’s the case. It’s the same for Messi. I walk away from the other issues. He has the personality to overcome them.

“Football has changed so much, there are things I never dreamed of. That includes rotations in goal or travelling on the same day to Madrid.

“Enrique has the tools to solve these things in the best way professionally and however is best for the team.”

Tags Andoni Zubizarreta Court of Arbitration for Sport