Barcelona have confirmed their desire “to do a deal” for ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho.
Speaking at Nelson Semedo’s presentation as a Barca player on Friday, technical secretary Robert Fernandez also discussed Aleix Vidal, Marco Verratti, accusations the Catalans had ignored their youth academy for too long and finally Paulinho.
“Semedo? There are many players and many names have come out [in the Press], but we’ve always had the type of player we wanted in mind. Nelson has years ahead of him and he’s young,” he began.
“He’s played in great competitions for a year and a half, and after much analysis, we think he’ll make his presence known and help the team. He’ll adapt quickly.
“Could Vidal leave? No. The signing will not involve Aleix’s departure at all. We’re happy with Aleix.
“He suffered terrible misfortune last season, at a time when he was in a fantastic shape.
“Still, he came to play in the Copa [del Rey] Final and we’re very excited that he’s in good condition. We need squad depth and very good players.
“Verratti? He’s a player with a contract in force. There’s not much I can say about him.
“If Barca have to do a deal with a player who’s under contract, we have to agree [to his sale] with his club.
“Accusations of ignoring La Masia? We’re very happy about how things have turned out. The B team won promotion, which is very important for us.
“The Juvenil and Cadete sides both also competed at a fantastic level.
“There are already youth players training with the first team and some are going to stay. As for those who won’t, I hope they do eventually.
“Paulinho’s transfer over? It doesn’t have to be. Barca have to be vigilant, and when a player from a particular League comes up and you’re interested, you know what you have to do, and from there you have to do the deal.
“If we can, we’ll close the deal. If we can’t, that’ll be that.”