Barcelona’s sporting director Robert Fernandez has shared updates regarding the transfer negotiations for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, calling it “a very difficult situation“.
To say that it has not been the start of the season that Barcelona was hoping for is a gross understatement. The team displayed lackluster performances in friendly games, lost Neymar to PSG, lost back to back games against rivals Real Madrid. And it doesn’t look like having €222 million to spend on players is making life all that much easier for Barcelona.
Earlier this week representatives from the club assured fans that the transfer of both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele were a mere formality. The players’ current clubs denied the statement vehemently and now Barcelona’s sporting director Robert Fernandez seems to confirm the deals are far from being confirmed by all parties.
“Not just Barca but any team looking for top quality players are getting involved in a very difficult situation in this market. Why? Because the market is where clubs like us want to sign top quality players. There’s no buy-out clauses, so that makes things trickier. Yes, we are negotiating with clubs to make several signings, but in all awareness of the difficulty. We need to work our way into a favourable situation and hopefully close these deals as quickly as possible.”
The season has started and Barcelona’s weaknesses have been on full display. The team has already moved to purchase Paulinho for £36.5million. However, with Neymar gone and Luis Suarez out injured for around five weeks, the Camp Nou side are becoming desperate to complete deals for Coutinho and Dembele. Fernandez says that he hoped there would be more understanding from Liverpool and Dortmund, the players’ current clubs. Barca’s representative is still optimistic the deals can go through before the end of the transfer window.
“Dembele and Coutinho are two important players that we like a lot and have done for a long time. They have the conditions, the right age and could adapt to our football. They would be good to have here. That’s the reality. With respect to Liverpool and Dortmund, when there are negotiations you need time, you need to work things into a favourable situation for players and ourselves,” Fernandez told reporters present at Paulinho’s unveiling.
“We still have days ahead of us, would like to move things faster, but do admit they’re two players we would like here. But it’s the clubs who will have the final say on if we finally achieve those two transfers.”