Barcelona 'cannot afford' to lose Vidal in January, says Blaugrana president Bartomeu

By Sports Desk December 09, 2019

Barcelona "cannot afford" to let unsettled midfielder Arturo Vidal leave the club in January, according to president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Vidal has started just four of Barca's 20 matches this season and last month vowed to quit the Spanish champions next year if he is not made to "feel important".

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has opened the door for the Chile international to find a new team, with Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta recently hinting his side are interested.

However, Bartomeu is expecting Vidal - a reported €18million signing from Bayern Munich in August 2018 - to remain at Camp Nou until at least the end of the season.

"No movement is expected in January," he told La Repubblica. "We have a balanced squad - we don't lack anything, but we also cannot afford to lose someone. 

"Several times before a player has showed a willingness to leave, but never in January. In some cases we have let them go, on other occasions we have convinced them to stay."

Barcelona travel to Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday with top spot already assured in Group F, while the Italians need to match Borussia Dortmund's result against Slavia Prague.

Lautaro Martinez has been in fine form for the Serie A leaders this season, leading to reports he is on Barca's radar, but Bartomeu was unwilling to comment on the speculation.

"This is a trap question," he said. "What I can say is that Inter are playing very well and he is not the only player who has impressed me. It is no coincidence that Inter are top of Serie A."

Related items

  • De Bruyne can make three or four assists a game - Jesus lauds Man City's main man De Bruyne can make three or four assists a game - Jesus lauds Man City's main man

    Gabriel Jesus feels Manchester City have let down their assist king Kevin De Bruyne this season. 

    Jesus and De Bruyne were on target during the second half when City beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu back in February. 

    The long-awaited second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie takes place behind closed doors at the Etihad Stadium on Friday. 

    De Bruyne heads into the contest after a stunning domestic season where he matched Thierry Henry's Premier League record of 20 assists in a single campaign. 

    Still, Brazil striker Jesus feels that number could have been much higher, insisting City were frequently wasteful in front of goal despite scoring 102 times in the league. 

    "I think every game he can make three or four assists for us," he told the club's website. 

    "This season we miss a lot of goals, if not Kevin would have 30 assists. He is so good. 

    "He has so much quality and he always looks to the strikers. It is so good playing with him."

    Praise has not always been so forthcoming for Jesus, who is likely to lead the City attack in Sergio Aguero's injury absence against the LaLiga champions. 

    The 23-year-old did impress, however, in the initial clash – deployed on the left-flank to fine effect in an experimental 4-4-2 system that featured De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva as false nines until the closing stages. 

    "I don't think it is my best performance," Jesus said. "It was a top game. I scored and helped the team and that's why people say that.

    "They [Madrid] played so good. It is so difficult to go there and play against them.

    "We suffered in the first 15-20 minutes and after we played well. We started to play our football and after we came back and could have scored three.

    "We played so good with the ball, but without the ball we played one of the best games I have seen since I came to play here."

  • Chelsea target Havertz 'fighting' for Leverkusen and will face Rangers - Bosz Chelsea target Havertz 'fighting' for Leverkusen and will face Rangers - Bosz

    Reported Chelsea target Kai Havertz is "100 per cent still fighting" for Bayer Leverkusen and will play against Rangers in the Europa League, says head coach Peter Bosz.

    Germany attacking midfielder Havertz has long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea thought to be keen on a deal that will see them pay £70million up front with an additional £20m in performance-based add-ons.

    The Blues have acted swiftly in the market, with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner already on board – the latter opting not to finish RB Leipzig's Champions League campaign.

    But Havertz will be involved on Thursday when Leverkusen return to Europa League action for the second leg of their last-16 tie against Rangers at the BayArena, where the Bundesliga side will start with a 3-1 aggregate lead.

    "I will answer these questions [about Havertz] very shortly," Bosz told a pre-match news conference. 

    "Yes, he will play and yes I'm convinced he's 100 per cent still fighting for Leverkusen."

    Following the completion of the round of 16, the Europa League – which was halted in March by the coronavirus pandemic – will be concluded with a knockout-style tournament in Germany.

    But Bosz warned his side not to look further than their date with Rangers.

    "We can only win the tournament if we win against Rangers. It doesn't make any sense to dream ahead to the upcoming matches," he added.

    "I've tried to convey this to the players that they see it that way.

    "We want to progress. If I need players tomorrow who may be at risk of being suspended, they will still play. Our focus is only on progressing."

  • Bale out of Man City clash but suspended Ramos is included in Real Madrid travelling squad Bale out of Man City clash but suspended Ramos is included in Real Madrid travelling squad

    Gareth Bale has been left out of the Real Madrid squad for the Champions League trip to Manchester City.

    The Wales star was not named in the 24-man travelling group, but captain Sergio Ramos, who is suspended for the last-16 second leg, was included.

    James Rodriguez was also left out, along with striker Mariano Diaz, who tested positive for coronavirus last week and has been self-isolating.

    Eden Hazard is in the squad despite concerns over his fitness following an ankle injury, while Luka Jovic, who has started just one Champions League game for Madrid, is also included.

    Madrid are trailing 2-1 from the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Bale's stock under head coach Zinedine Zidane appears to have dropped to its lowest point in 2020, the former Tottenham forward having featured just twice since the Spanish season resumed in June.

    Team-mate Casemiro insisted this week that Bale still has the support of Madrid's coaches and players despite going through "not the best time in his career".

    Bale has caused some consternation in Spain for his attitude on the sidelines in recent weeks. He has often appeared bored during games and was distant from some of the title celebrations when Madrid were crowned champions last month.

    However, his agent, Jonathan Barnett, told BBC Sport that the player "likes living in Madrid and he is going nowhere", and is keen to see out the remaining two years on his contract.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.