Joan Laporta has reiterated his support for Txiki Begiristain and Frank Rijkaard to make changes to the squad, and a series of transfers “have already been decided”. He has insisted that neither Ronaldinho or Eto'o are for sale.
“The technical secretary and the coach will decide on the changes to the squad, and the
directors will be kept informed” said Joan Laporta in a huge press conference held just
before a meeting with his coaching staff. A left back, a centre back, one or two midfielders and
one or two forwards are the kind of players that Txiki and Rijkaard are looking to add to a group
that will definitely continue to feature both Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o.
Said Laporta, “the technical secretary has practically
decided on all the players that will be coming and going.” Asked about the players still
under contract that his staff has decided are surplus to requirements, he said that “we will
seek to come to a mutual agreement in consideration of the interests of the both the club and the
player.” The only player whose contract has expired is Javier Saviola, who has already
announced that he will not be accepting the offer to extend his contract. Nevertheless, the
president wished to thank the Argentinian for all he has done for the club over the years. Although
no names were given, it seems clear that neither Ronaldinho or Samuel Eto’o will be leaving,
and both players are still under contract.
Full confidence in Txiki and Rijkaard
Asked how he feels Txiki Begiristain is doing in his job, Joan Laporta answered “he has
done very well over the four years and I have no complaints about the signings he made this
season.” Neither is Laporta considering the option of bringing in a new coach.
“Rijkaard will be the coach next season and he is fully motivated to do so. He will be quite
aware of the measures to be taken and knows what errors have been committed.” He added that
his board fully supported him in this.
Joan Laporta has every faith that this team can go on to win many more
titles. “If we analyse what we have got here, and what we are thinking of adding, I am sure
we will create a winning team. Experience has taught us not to make the same mistakes.” He
added that the board of directors ‘have the frying pan by the handle’ and are ready to
sort out any problems that might arise.
Youth football to be restructured
Another matter is that of two reserve team players that will be promoted to the first team.
One of these is likely to be Giovani Dos Santos, who now has dual nationality, but the other has
yet to be decided. With Barça B dropping into the third division, the Barça C team is going to be
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Seven titles, wishful thinking
Joan Laporta reiterated that he never said at any point this year that he expected his team to win
all seven titles. “I just said that there was the hope, the intention and the aspiration to
win every competition we were in. I would never say that we wanted to lose anything.”