Zubi declares winter transfers over
Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta has announced that the signing of Afellay will be the limit of Barça’s transfer activity this winter and declared the squad closed.
“We have absolutely no plans to sign anybody else during this transfer window”
according to the Sporting Director, speaking during the presentation of Ibrahim Afellay this
Afellay can add something
Zubi explained that the winter transfer window was primarily to resolve problems
and in the case of Ibrahim Afellay “he was a player who was about to finish his contract and
with the squad we have he looks like somebody who can add something”.
Zubi stressed Afellay’s versatility as a key reason for his
signing, as well as the experience he has already gained: “he was PSV captain despite his age
and he showed great footballing maturity. He’ll have to adapt to a new situation, but
he’s used to meeting challenges”.
Squad is closed
Zubizarreta stressed that the squad was now closed and that although he’d
considered the possibility of a centre half last summer, the performances of Fontàs, Batra and
Muniesa have convinced him” we don’t need to look there right now. Those three will
continue to play for the B team with options of moving up to play with the first team. We are
changing the concept of first team and reserve players for a squad where every player can play with
different systems and ways of playing”.
Alves, Guardiola and Thiago
Dani Alves’ contract negotiations were also touched on, with Zubi
explaining: “we are working every day with the negotiations, trying to find a point where we
feel comfortable”. Zubizarreta also echoed President Rosell’s optimism about
Guardiola’s continuing presence, whilst also revealing that “Thiagos’ contract
states that we have to tell him at the end of January exactly what role he’ll have in the
squad next year, but right now it’s not a direct incorporation into the first team