Barca rule out first-team sales

Barcelona director Ariedo Braida has ruled out further departures from the first team following Neymar’s exit to Paris Saint-Germain.

The former Milan executive was referring specifically to the futures of Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou, while he also refused to rule out a move for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

“Iniesta to Juventus? No. Barca’s players aren’t on the market. Iniesta will stay with us,” Braida told Radio Anch’io Sport.

“Talk of Messi leaving? I don’t think so.

“Anything can happen in football, but Messi’s a great professional and Barcelona are in his heart. I don’t think he’ll leave.

“Coutinho? The market always dishes up surprises. I’ll only say that Barcelona are a great club that try to sign top players.

“We always try to do our best, also because the club have large revenues and a huge fan base.

“Barca must always be at the top, although it’s harder now there are other clubs with huge resources.

“In order to compete with them, our revenue needs to increase. All players are overvalued, there are absurd figures being bandied about, but that’s how the market is and it must be accepted.

“Champions League? Juve are a very important team, they’ve already shown it. Barca, despite selling Neymar, are a top-level team.

“Messi’s unique and he has something magical. You know you’re facing a champion when you see him.

“Only two teams competing in our group? There are no more easy teams, you have to play them.

“Barca aren’t in their best spell, but our recent victories bode well. We’ve signed Dembele, who is a great talent.

“We can also say that Juve and Barca are favourites in the group.”

Tags Andres Iniesta