Exclusive: An Interview With Toni Juanmarti

We’re in the middle of the International break, and still happy after the massive win in madrid. Therefore, now it’s a good time to sit and talk about the main Barça news topics. In order to cover the most reliable news, Marco had a talk with one of the best journalists around: Toni Juanmarti. If you want, you can listen to an audio version of our talk here.

HOW IS THE ATMOSPHERE IN THE DRESSING ROOM?

Everyone is really happy, really motivated and of course the results help you because otherwise if you don’t get results everybody for cost everybody is connected so yes I would say that for the moment the dressing room leaves the best moment in the last maybe six or seven years. 

XAVI HAS THE WHOLE CLUB BEHIND HIM, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

It’s important you know when you are the coach of Barcelona, you want to be respected by the supporters and the players. He was the best midfielder in the history of the club.

The most important thing is to be respected. Zidane was the one with Real Madrid, and Xavi is the one doing it perfectly with Barcelona.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH ARAUJO AND GAVI’S CONTRACT?

I think they are both going to extend their contacts of course this is part of the the job, part of the deal, part of the business that each part defend their own interest. So I can understand that sometimes it’s not easy but I am convinced that they are going to stay.

I think the club is going to do a bit more effort to keep them and they are going accept that there’s now a new structure of salaries. They could be having more money in other clubs, but they are going to extend.

Gavi is closer to renew than Araujo as the club has better feeling with Gavi’s extention. But Araujo will extend as well. 

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH DEMBELE? 

I think we are talking only about money, that’s the only problem. The club is seeing that Ousmane is a very good player, he’s now happier than ever as a Barcelona player. Xavi has given him a lot of love, he’s happy with the dressing room. He’s now making jokes than ever.

He has a price, but the club has some other price. In sure that they will have a meeting, but it is going to be very complicated as the numbers are really far, one from the other.

Are there going to be new talks? I think yes. But is Ousmane going to stay? I think no. 

In winter it was almost impossible. And now it’s 20% or something like that.

WHEN YOU SEE PLAYERS LIKE MORIBA OR NEYMAR WHO LEFT FOR MONEY ARE EXAMPLES. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS EVEN WHEN YOU’RE A MILLIONAIRE? 

Yes, all players who leave Barca say that they regret leaving Barcelona. There’s no place as good as Barcelona. That’s what happened with Neymar, and it can happen with Ousmane. Earlier the club wasn’t winning, but now it is. It can happen with Ousmane as well if he leaves. 

IF DEMBELE DOESN’T RENEW, WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS OF BARCA IN THE RIGHT WING AREA. THERE ARE TALKS ABOUT ANTONY FROM AJAX AND RAPHINHA FROM LEEDS.

At the moment the club is focussed on defensive signings. It’s true that Raphinha could be an option depending on what happens with Ousmane and Adama. There could be more names, but for the moment they are focussed on defensive part.

YES, DEFENSIVE REINFORCEMENTS ARE IMPORTANT. WE ALREADY HAVE MAZROUI, KESSIE, CHRISTENSEN, AND POSSIBLY AZPILICUETA. WILL DEST STAY SINCE THERE ARE A LOT OF RIGHT-BACKS?

It’s difficult to know this now. But my feeling is that only one of Azpilicueta or Mazraoui will arrive. However, it’s a feeling, and not information.  

Let’s see if they extend Alves’ contract. Sergino can also play as a left-back and can be a replacement for Alba. 

WILL OSCAR MINGUEZA, UMTITI, AND LENGLET LEAVE IN THE SUMMER?

Toni Juanmarti: For the moment, there’s no offer or no talks. The club will be open for Lenglet to go, but we have to wait and see.

WHAT ABOUT RIQUI PUIG AND SERGI ROBERTO?

There have been reports that Riqui will leave this summer. There are a lot of players in midfield, and he’s not an option. The club won’t make any more proposals to Roberto, so it seems like he will go. 

WHAT ABOUT COLLADO AND INAKI PENIA FOR NEXT SEASON? 

Yes, Inaki Penia can be the second goalkeeper. Neto is likely to leave in the summer. That’s the plan right now that Neto leaves and Penia comes in as the second goalkeeper. He wants to play regular minutes, so he will have to leave. 

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE CVC DEAL?

I do not have a lot more than what is already been reparted. I know that the club are in talks to sign the deal and get the money but the club wants special conditions. But I think they are going to find an agreement since they’re talking for a long time. You don’t talk for this long if you don’t want to deal. 

ARE WE REALLY BEHIND MANCHESTER CITY AND REAL MADRID FOR HAALAND? CAN WE BRING SOMEONE BIG LIKE SALAH OR LEWANDOWSKI THIS SUMMER

This is the million dollar question, isn’t it, we are all getting tired about Erling Haaland’s future. I think that Barcelona are not really optimistic with Haalsnd since their offer is not really a good one like Manchester City.

They need also to sign the CVC deal and other agreements to say that we are competitive with Erling. And who knows if they solve the talks with Barca Studios or the CVC soon, they’re going to be able. Also, keep in mind that Erling Haaland’s release clause expires at the end of April.My feeling is that Erling Haaland is not impossible, but low chances. The club is saying that it is really really difficult. They are preparing the fans that he might not arrive. 

Lewandowski is a real option, and might arrive as well. The club thinks that he’s a real option even after his age. Robert is a real option. Mo Salah is an option too, but Lewandowski is easier. 

WHO IS XAVI IMPRESSED BY THE MOST IN THE TEAM?

The player who has impressed Xavi the most is Pedri. With all he is doing, Xavi got impressed by him and he has also mentioned this in public, in press conferences. He is totally in love with Pedri.

Xavi has made a lot of changes – training sessions, arriving early, team bonding. The most important thing he has done is listening to players individually, making them feel they are important and if they train well they will get a chance.

Xavi has been honest and positive. He is not getting nervous. Xavi says to the players I trust you. He wants to work a lot.

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