Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has claimed the team’s winger Ousmane Dembele is better than Neymar, the player he was signed to replace at Camp Nou.
Neymar quit Catalonia for PSG in the summer of 2017 for a world-record transfer fee of €222m (£198m/$250m), with Dembele arriving from Dortmund for €105m (£90.6m/$118m) soon afterwards.
Bartomeu also discussed Philippe Coutinho’s progress with the Blaugrana.
“Dembele’s level is better now than Neymar’s, he’s a much better player than Neymar and he’s already adapted.
“Coutinho is a great player, excellent, he’s getting better and better. 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 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.”
With the 2018-19 season nearing its end, the 56-year-old also spoke of his club's summer transfer dealings.
He did, however, scotch persistent rumours linking Antoine Griezmann with a move to Camp Nou.
“The signing of De Jong we wanted to do in the summer, but there was a lot of pressure, other teams wanted him and we advanced it.
“His way of playing fits us and I like it. Ajax is a training club that sells, but we have not had talks.
“The Griezmann subject is not on the table.”
He said Barcelona fears nobody, and also reiterated his feeling Guardiola would return to the club he graced as player and manager.
“Cristiano or Guardiola in a final? Barca is not afraid of anyone, but we cannot speculate what will happen if we have not gone past the quarter-finals.
“Guardiola must return to Barca
“He’s there at Manchester City and he is doing very well and has a very long contract.”