Bartomeu also explained the club need players like Philippe Coutinho and the former Liverpool star is ‘getting better and better’
Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele is now a better player than Neymar, according to the man who signed him, Josep Bartomeu.
The Barca president oversaw Neymar’s £198m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, with Dembele arriving from Borussia Dortmund shortly afterwards for £135m and Philippe Coutinho joining the club from Liverpool in January 2018 for £142m.
Bartomeu signed Dembele for £135m in August 2017 shortly after selling Neymar to PSG
Both players are adequate replacements, says Bartomeu.
“I explained that we have a project with Dembele and Coutinho with Neymar’s money,’ he told Spanish television channel TVE.
“Dembele’s level is better now than Neymar’s, he’s a much better player than Neymar and he’s already adapted.”
Liverpool legend reveals what Klopp does every time he visits Reds’ training ground
This is the player behind Liverpool’s rise to brilliance – not Van Dijk or Salah
Ex-Chelsea ace reveals Jurgen Klopp wanted him but Mourinho blocked the move
TO ME TO YOU
Bournemouth stars Wilson and Fraser are on the brink of making history
Smalling reveals what Lionel Messi said to him after leaving Barca captain bloodied
Italian police to deport Ajax fans with ‘brass knuckles, smoke bombs and firecrackers’
Real Madrid’s ‘plan’ to sign Mane, Chelsea eye Coutinho, Rashford to Barcelona?
Ex-Chelsea star reveals Real Madrid are keen on beating Man United to West Ham ace
Premier League table, top four fixtures, plus odds on where each club will finish
‘He’s a f****** p****’ – What Deeney reportedly told Unai Emery after red card
The Camp Nou supremo was also full of praise for former Liverpool star Coutinho, who has been linked with a move away from Barcelona recently.
However, it appears the 26-year-old Brazil international is going nowhere.
“Coutinho is a great player, excellent, he’s getting better and better,” he added.
LIVE ON talkSPORT
talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…
- Barcelona vs Manchester United (Tuesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Juventus vs Ajax (Tuesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Porto vs Liverpool (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Napoli vs Arsenal (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Sheffield United vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Leeds vs Wigan (Friday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Sunderland vs Doncaster (Friday, 5:15pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Norwich vs Sheffield Wednesday (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Newcastle vs Southampton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Accrington Stanley vs Luton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Everton vs Manchester United (Sunday, 1:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Cardiff vs Liverpool (Sunday, 4pm) – talkSPORT
“It’s not easy to play at Barca – he was here six months last season and he’s complete now. He has the confidence of [Ernesto Valverde] the coach. He’s a global player and we expect a lot. from him.
“He will continue at Barca. He’s different and Barca needs different players.”
Neymar cost PSG £198m in 2017, but Bartomeu believes Dembele, who replaced him in Spain, is now a much better player
Philippine Coutinho ‘will continue at Barca’ says club president Josep Bartomeu
On Tuesday night, live on talkSPORT at 8pm, LaLiga’s leaders host Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Lionel Messi is fit to play, having suffered a facial injury in the first leg in a clash with Chris Smalling. The forward was rested for Saturday’s goalless draw at bottom club, Huesca.
Barca lead 1-0 from the first leg and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will use United’s dramatic turnaround in the previous round against PSG as inspiration.
Barcelona players train ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Man United
“It will have helped us as a team,” the Norwegian said. “We know we can turn things around.
“Barca here at the Nou Camp is a difficult prospect but that night will live with the players. It was not that long ago and we are one goal better off [than we were then].”
Solskjaer confirmed forward Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Nemanja Matic are both available for the tie after recovering from injuries.
Sanchez, who played 141 times for Barca in a three-year spell, has been out for six weeks with a knee injury while Matic has missed the past three games.