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19.05.2008 14:47

“There will be major changes”

Anna Segura

The vice-chairman for sports, Marc Ingla, and the director of football Txiki Begiristain, say that there will be “major changes” in the team for next season and that this “will generate a lot of hope and expectation”.

Now that the first team’s official competitions are over, it is time to take stock of the season and start planning for the new first team squad. Marc Ingla, vice-chairman for sports at FC Barcelona, and Txiki Begiristain, director of football, have been given the job and today appeared before the media to announce “major changes, which have begun with the coach”.

Great project

Both Marc Ingla and Txiki Begiristain are convinced that next season there will be a squad “which will generate a lot of hope and expectation”. As director of football, Txiki said that “we’ve looked at last season and this forces us to suggest changes. My job is to come up with an attractive proposal which the Board likes.”

Nevertheless, Marc Ingla asked for patience with new signings and players leaving the club over the next few weeks. “There will be a lot of pressure but we don’t want to rush into things,” he said. “But I’m convinced it’s going to be a really great project.”

The choice of Guardiola

Guardiola_dret.JPGOn 8 May it was announced that Pep Guardiola would replace Frank Rijkaard as manager. “This decision was taken by people who are on top of things, was backed by the Board and then implemented at just the right time,” argued Marc Ingla. “Pep Guardiola will handle discipline in his own way and maybe will be a little more on top of the little things. The results will come as a consequence of good tactical work.”

Txiki Begiristain added that nothing was being imposed on Pep Guardiola: “He’ll be in charge of the dressing room. There has to be a feeling that he’s making the dressing room his, and in this respect we do want some changes.” Txiki then highlighted Guardiola’s virtues including "his methods, character and the way he deals with players” and called him a “football addict” in reference to his capacity for work and constant analysis.

On the way out

inglatxiki_x3x.jpgThe director of football said that not all the players in the first team were up for sale. “We will accept offers for some players we would like to change,” he said, “but if there are players who are key for next season, then we won’t look at any type of offer.”

Txiki Begiristain was not prepared to name names as to which players will be leaving since “they are important players and we want them to leave in the best way possible. Plus we also have to go to the market to buy and sell well”. Marc Ingla guaranteed that the club “is on a sound financial footing to tackle this renewal.”

Negotiations for Piqué

fcb-sevilla-sylvinho.jpgTxiki Begiristain said that negotiations to sign Gerard Piqué, the Manchester United defender, “are well-advanced but for the moment we’ve left it for later on”. Piqué will of course be playing for Manchester United in this Wednesday’s Champions League final.

Turning to the players whose contracts run out this season, Txiki said that the club hoped to keep Sylvinho “as he’s had a really good season”. As he pointed out, that would “clear up” the left-back position.
“There will be major changes”

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Board backs Txiki
During the press conference, Marc Ingla said he had total confidence in the club’s director of football Txiki Begiristain: “We are happy with him and back him to the hilt. I would reiterate that he has our full confidence."

For his part Txiki said that “I’m the boss of football and I believe I can come up with another project which people can get excited about.”

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