Madrid, Aug 5 (IANS) FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde admitted he was disappointed in seeing Neymar Jr move to French football club Paris Saint Germain this week, but added that the club has to look forward after seeing the departure of the Brazilian striker.
Speaking to the press for the first time since Neymar paid his 222 million Euro buyout clause, Valverde, who only took over at the Camp Nou at the start of the summer, said “we would have liked for him to stay,” reports Xinhua news agency.
However, he accepted Neymar’s decision to leave the club where he has spent the past four years.
“Everyone is free to choose their destination. We have to look to the future and in what we have got,” said Valverde, who wished Neymar luck in his new adventure and also hinted at new arrivals with the money earned from the signing.
“One door closes and others open,” commented Valverde, whose side drew a friendly game 1-1 against local second division outfit, Gimnastic Tarragona on Friday night.
According to the local press, Barcelona are working hard to cover Neymar’s loss with the club close to sealing a deal to buy Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez for around 32 million euros.
The Catalan press also report Barca have agreed personal terms with Liverpool’s Brazilian forward Phillipe Coutinho, and Borussia Dortmund striker Ousmane Dembele, although they have still to negotiate prices with their respective clubs.