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Bartomeu: Neymar leaving gives us chance to be Barca again

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said Neymar’s sale to Paris Saint Germain is a chance for the club to go back to their traditional possession based football.

A summer of discontent at the Camp Nou has involved failings to sign new players, struggles to sell unwanted stars and perhaps the biggest story in football – Neymar’s sensational sale to PSG.

Whilst Andre Gomes and Arda Turan were expected to be sold to allow new blood to come in, no one expected a major part of the club’s attacking front line to leave.

Fans have been full voiced in their discontent, whilst club members have called for a re-election and the current board to step aside.

The latter seems unlikely and Bartomeu dug deep in his latest interview with Diario Sport in attempt to win back of number of Cules.

“The situation around Neymar distracted us too much, ” he said. “I would have preferred them to tell us before ‘we’re leaving’, as we would have been able to find a replacement.

“We do not stop players leaving and that was the case with Neymar. But, we would have preferred to have signed Ousmane Dembele in a better market and at a better cost.”

In recent times Barca have been criticised for moving away from their possession based football, which ultimately has been the club’s tradition and allowed them be so successful in the Champions League and to dominate at domestic level.

And, Bartomeu has used that in an attempt to appease disgruntled fans.

“You cannot not be over pessimistic, we see this as an opportunity for Barcelona to break the trident and to better our collective play.

“This is a chance to return to collective football in our midfield, which is traditionally the club’s strength.

“It’s an opportunity…we have a new Coach, a new project. We can’t be pessimists. Let’s stop being pessimistic!”

Barca have started the season well, given an injury to Luis Suarez – winning both their opening games 2-0 against Real Betis and Alaves, respectively and they return to action on Saturday evening as they host Espanyol at Camp Nou.

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