Barcelona president: “Dembele is better than Neymar”

Ousmane Dembele

Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, suggested Barcelona have no need to re-sign Neymar as his replacement Ousmane Dembele is a better player.

The Catalan giants sold Neymar in the summer of 2017 for a world-record €222m deal to Paris Saint-Germain after the French champions triggered his buy-out clause.

Barcelona acted swiftly in signing up Dembele from Borussia Dortmund during the same transfer window in a €105m deal to replace Neymar up front alongside star forwards Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Despite injury and disciplinary problems, Dembele has gradually begun to show promising signs of the player he can be for Barcelona with five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi backing him to become the world’s best.

This has done little though to dispell the growing rumours in Spain linking Neymar with a return to Camp Nou amid reports the 27-year-old is unsettled in France.

But Barcelona president Bartomeu appears to have shut down talk of a Neymar return once more by expressing his satisfaction over Dembele.

When asked if he would resign Neymar, Bartomeu told Cadena SER: “I won’t say yes or no.

“I say that with their [PSG’s] money, Barca made a sporting bet. With that money, we went for players like Dembele and [Philippe] Coutinho.

“Dembele is better than Neymar. He’s at Barca and he is better.”

Following Barcelona’s capture of Ajax playmaker Frenkie de Jong in an initial €75m deal for next season, Ivan Rakitic’s future at Catalonia has been under strong doubt.

Therefore, the Croatia international has been linked with moves to Inter Milan and Bayern Munich amid growing suspicions he will not be awarded a new contract.

“Renewals are not a priority. Right now, we have to plan for next season,” said Bartomeu on Rakitic’s situation.

Meanwhile, the 56-year-old seemingly confirmed that an approach will be made to sign another Ajax youngster in Matthijs de Ligt.

Bartomeu added: “We have to talk about it from March.

“Which is when we take the decisions, but his name is on the table, of course.”



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