Barto: Coutinho, Iniesta, Madrid…

Josep Maria Bartomeu admits Philippe Coutinho “is a great player”, Barcelona want Andres Iniesta “for life” and that “there’s great respect” with Real Madrid.

Mundo Deportivo reported on Saturday morning that Rafinha could be the key to Barca signing Coutinho from Liverpool, while Iniesta turned 34 in May and has only one year left on his contract.

“A few years ago, Barcelona felt football would be important in the US,” the President continued to tell reporters in the Americas via the newspaper.

“We have an office in New York, plus academies and schools there. We want to show them how football is a form of integration in every sense.

“In addition, we’re thinking about women’s football. We want the Barca brand to be better known.

“Messi? He’s already signed his new contract, but we want to unveil it.

“Coutinho? He’s a great player, but we can’t say anything. You have to be discreet.

“Valverde wants a competitive team that understand his needs very well.

“More players will come, certainly one in the middle. Iniesta? We want him to have a contract for life with us. He’s our balance.

“He has Ronaldinho’s smile and the magic of Messi. We want him to go on forever.”

Barca face Madrid in Miami on Saturday night for the International Champions Cup, in the first Clasico of its kind.

“We want to win it. Any match against them consists of the maximum rivalry,” added Bartomeu.

“I hope it’s a great game and that everyone enjoys it. Madrid? There's great respect between us.

“We’re rivals in everything. I can’t talk about what happened to Ceballos.

“In a few years’ time, we’ll have the best football stadium in the world.”

Tags Clasico International Champions Cup Josep Maria Bartomeu Liverpool Miami Philippe Coutinho Rafinha