BARCELONA boss Quique Setien admits he would love to manage Neymar and also heaped praise on transfer target Lautaro Martinez.
The 61-year-old Spaniard, who replaced Ernesto Valverde in the Nou Camp dug-out in January, is preparing his side to resume LaLiga action next month after the coronavirus suspension.
But during an interview with BeIn Sports he has also been discussing the three players his team have been linked with making summer moves for.
They include their former Brazilian forward Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan’s Argentinian striker Martinez and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
Setien said: “Of course I would like to coach Neymar one day.
“Fortunately I have been able to fulfil one dream of coaching the best player in the world in Leo [Messi].
“What is to come next, we will wait and see but I’m sure I would be delighted, how would I not be.”
Barcelona are still believed to be pessimistic regarding the chances of signing Neymar due to his £160m-plus release clause.
Speculation claims Neymar is determined not to stay in France past June 2022 – when his contract ends.
Recent reports also claimed he was looking at exploiting a Fifa loophole to land a move back to Spain.
That makes Martinez, who has a £97.5m release fee, a more realistic option.
Setien said: “It’s clear that there are four or five players who play in that position that are extraordinary and that any of them could be at Barcelona.
“He is a player who would be very good in this team, like other players of his level.”
Back in midfield, Barcelona are hoping to offload Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic once the window re-opens and replace them with Pjanic from Juventus.
Discussing the Bosnian, Setien said: “I’ve always said I like all top players and as they are top players then it follows that they could end up at Barcelona. He is a great player like dozens of others.”
On Rakitic, he said: “I have used Rakitic and will go on using him as long as he is a Barca player.”
And Vidal, who turned 33 yesterday, Setien added: “This morning in training we were not able to give him the ‘pasillo’ [a guard of honour where the player celebrating a birthday runs through and gets clipped around the head by the other players] because of the rules on no contact. “He is always full of energy and positivity. His attitude is extraordinary and he gives us so much. We are very happy with him.”
Source: Read Full Article