Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Barcelona boss discusses Miralem Pjanic and Lautaro Martinez rumours

The Bosnian has been heavily linked with a summer switch to Camp Nou (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona boss Quique Setien has made it clear he would love to have both Lautaro Martinez and Miralem Pjanic in his squad, praising the Serie A duo amid speculation they are heading to Camp Nou.

The Catalan club are eager to strengthen their side during the summer transfer window and are believed to be in talks with Juventus over a player swap for 30-year-old midfielder Pjanic.

As part of the deal, Juve are looking at taking Nelson Semedo, Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal in exchange, while the Bosnian now has his heart set on joining Barca despite interest from other European giants.

Barcelona Players Return To Training Following Coronavirus Lockdown

Setien and his Barca squad are backing training in small groups (Picture: Getty)

A deal for Martinez is also thought to be close, with reports in his native Argentina suggesting Barca had to agreed to pay a fee equivalent to his release clause but with a player going the other way to lower the cash value.

And Setien has now confirmed he is a big fan of both players and believes they are at the required level to play for Barca.

‘We’re all clear there are four or five footballers who play in his position who are extraordinary and that any of them have what it takes to play for Barcelona,’ Setien told beIN Sports.

‘In reference to this player, he’s a player who can be very good in this team, as well as the others who may be at his level.’

On Pjanic, he continued: ‘I’ve always said that I like great players and he is a fine talent. This is true of many players that are linked to the club via the press.’

Barcelona have also been linked with a move to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, with the rumours continuing despite the financial ramifications of the coronavirus crisis, and Setien was glowing in his praise of the Brazilian.

Neymar with former Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez

Neymar is believed to be eager to leave Paris and return to Camp Nou (Picture: Getty)

He added: ‘Without doubt, I would love to be able to coach Neymar one day. Absolutely. He is a player who is at an exceptional level, nobody can place that in doubt.

‘I have already fulfilled the dream of coaching the best in the world, which is Leo [Messi]. As for those who could come in, we’ll have to see, but I would be delighted.’

MORE: Jose Mourinho finally reveals what he whispered in Pep Guardiola’s ear during Inter vs Barcelona

MORE: Barcelona on verge of completing record deal for Inter star Lautaro Martinez

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Paul Pogba looking sharper than ever in Man Utd training as he accepts coronavirus finance woes have KO’d transfer hope – The Sun

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