Luis Enrique believes current Barcelona squad strongest ever
Barcelona coach, Luis Enrique, believes his current squad is the strongest he has ever had as he looks to build on last season’s domestic double.
The Spanish champions have recruited Andre Gomes, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne and Denis Suarez since the end of last season, while Marc Bartra, Thomas Vermaleen, Adriano Correia and Sandro Ramirez have departed.
“On paper, this is the best squad that I have had in my three years at Barca,” Luis Enrique told the club’s website. “We have a squad that has been strengthened brilliantly.”
“All the new players have settled in well. They have quality and will have to compete for a place.”
Luis Enrique won the treble, including the Champions League, in his first season at the Nou Camp and they successfully defended the La Liga title and retained the King’s Cup last season.
“It’s now up to us to see if we can retain the titles we won last season and also win more,” he added. “I hope we can live up to expectations.”
Barca are still looking to reinforce their formidable attacking line led by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr.
“While the window remains open, we are ready to strengthen our squad,” Enrique added. “That is the intelligent way to look at things.”
“If we find a player that will improve us, we will do it. If not, we continue with this squad, which is already great.”
Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, says “anything can happen” in the transfer window but believes the squad is strong enough as it is.
The Champions League holders have re-signed striker Alvaro Morata from Juventus while selling Jese Rodriguez and Denis Cheryshev to Paris Saint-Germain and Villarreal in a quiet summer by their standards.
Perez has not ruled out making further signings, but after watching his side beat Sevilla 3-2 after extra-time to win the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday, he believes it is hard to better the players already in the Real Madrid ranks.
Crystal Palace are in talks with Everton to sign Oumar Niasse on loan.
Arsenal have not made a 30 million Sterling Pounds bid for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez.
Leicester City have made a 23.1 million Sterling Pounds offer for Brazilian wonder kid Gabriel Barbosa who plays for Santos.
Adnan Januzaj is closing in on a loan move to Sunderland.
Lucas Leiva’s proposed transfer from Liverpool to Galatasaray is off, according to the Turkish club’s sporting director.
Arsenal’s negotiations to sign the Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi are ongoing. The Germany international, who could reportedly command a fee of up to 30 million pounds, has been left out of Valencia’s squad for Wednesday’s friendly with Nigeria All-Stars.
Sunderland are targeting an 8-million-pounds raid on Norwich striker Steven Naismith.
Everton are closing in on Yannick Bolaise, who could cost up to 30 million pounds.
Paddy McNair and Donald Love are due on Wearside for Sunderland medicals on Wednesday.
Arsenal will bid 30 million pounds for Manchester City’s Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony.
Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is attracting interest from Premier League clubs, according to Press Association Sport, while Juan Mata is reportedly likely to stay at Old Trafford.
Fiorentina have signed Aston Villa midfielder Carlos Sanchez on a season-long loan.
Serie A sides Torino and Fiorentina are both keen on signing Hull City’s striker Abel Hernandez.
Lorenzo Insigne’s agent says the midfielder will ask to leave Napoli after rejecting a new deal from the only club he has ever known.
Reports in France suggest that Lyon will make Lacazette their highest-paid player with a new contract, and manager Bruno Genesio is sure that the striker will stay put.
Sources: BBC, SkySports, soccernet.com, DailyMail
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