rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Fabregas leaving Barcelona? No, insists coach Martino

Fabregas leaving Barcelona? No, insists coach Martino

July 26, 2013 19:28 IST

Fabregas leaving Barcelona? No, insists coach Martino

     Next

Next

If we have to go by what Barcelona's new coach Gerardo Martino says, then that is the way things are going to be for Cesc Fabregas.

Martino has stated he does not want the Spain midfielder to accept an offer from Manchester United.

"Obviously I am not going to get involved in the club's economic affairs but they have already rejected two offers so I will add a third," Martino said at his first news conference since he was appointed to succeed Tito Vilanova on Tuesday.

"We are going to keep him here," added the Argentine, a former coach of Paraguay and most recently Newell's Old Boys in his native Rosario.

United coach David Moyes said on Thursday the English champions had not given up their pursuit of Fabregas, who returned to his boyhood club in 2011 after eight seasons with United's Premier League rivals Arsenal.

But Barca vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu also ruled out selling Fabregas, saying it was normal for United to be interested in the 26-year-old as he was ‘a great player’ but that the club were counting on him.


Image: Cesc Fabregas of FC Barcelona
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

     Next

Martino also has plans for Messi

Prev     More
Prev

More

Martino was hired because he is known to favour the club's possession-based playing style.

The silver-haired 50-year-old said his immediate priorities were to get to know the squad and coaching staff and make sure the players retained their hunger for success.

He would be focusing as well on making sure Barca's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who is also from Rosario, was able to continue his phenomenal scoring run of recent seasons.

"What we are going to try to do is make him feel as comfortable as he has up to now, making him feel good in the team," Martino said.

"With that he will do the rest."

One thing Martino said he would be working on was making sure Barca pressured opponents high up the pitch and that they were comfortable defending a long way from their own goal.

He will be tested when Barca take on Polish side Lechia Gdansk in a friendly on Tuesday.


Image: Lionel Messi of Barcelona
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

Prev     More