'I can't promise I will sign a defender' - Martino

The 50-year-old met the Spanish media for the first time since succeeding Tito Vilanova at Camp Nou but refused to be drawn on speculation linking the club with Thiago Silva
Newly-appointed Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino insists he has not yet decided whether or not the club should sign a defender this summer.

The Blaugrana are reportedly keen on strengthening their back-four during the off-season in a bid to add steel to their defence, with Paris Saint-Germain stalwart Thiago Silva among those heavily linked with a move to Catalunya.

However, having yet to take charge of his first training session with his new club, Martino believes it would be premature to commit to signing a centre-half.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, he said: "I have only spoken to [Carles] Puyol this morning, but haven't even had a training session with the players yet so it's much too early to draw any conclusions about the needs of the team."

Meanwhile, Neymar's arrival at Camp Nou this summer has prompted questions over how the Brazil international will fit in the team alongside Lionel Messi, but Martino was unequivocal in his assertion that the Argentine would not be handed a new role to accomodate the Selecao star.

The 50-year-old added: "Messi has played in different positions in the last few years and has played as a central striker and exploded as a goalscorer which he didn't look like being in previous years.

"But in a very quick answer, I would say he will continue to play in the same position."

Meanwhile, Martino went on to deny Messi had any involvement in his move to Camp Nou, after Messi had publicly backed the appointment of his compatriot.

"Messi said something. He said: 'We are from Rosario and Newell's and we don't know each other'... That's true," he stated, before sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta added: "Messi didn't have anything to do with our choice of Martino."

Finally, the former Newell's boss had his say on the rivalry with Real Madrid - and stressed it was incomparable to those in his homeland.

"Beating Real Madrid is hugely important but cannot be compared [to rivalries in Argentina]...," he said.