Manchester United and Chelsea may have felt that the arrival of Paulinho at Barcelona was a boost to their hopes of landing Sergi Roberto, with the star wanting to be a fixture in the first team and able to play as many games as possible – yet not being favoured by new manager Ernesto Valverde.
However, the new Barcelona manager has come out and claimed he wants to keep the player – and that he may spend some time on the bench, but is important regardless.
The Star report he said: “Of course, I am absolutely counting on him.
“Will he be a starter? Yes.
“In some games he will be a major player and in some games no, but he remains an important player.”
It seems Jose Mourinho has all but given up on landing a fourth signing this summer, and Chelsea have issues of their own, with the club worried over the future of Antonio Conte – not to mention their awful start to the season, and trying to get back on track in a very over inflated and difficult transfer market.
One thing is clear – Barcelona have not seen the summer they wanted or expected come to fruition.
The club have struggled to bring in players, and are currently in a stand off with Liverpool over the future of Philippe Coutinho, and while they may have signed Spurs flop Paulinho, that’s hardly enough to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and PSG.
The loss of Neymar was huge, and then seeing ten man Real Madrid comprehensively beat them in the first leg of the SuperCopa only compounded things, with the fans and the media already airing concerns over the side and in particular, the Barcelona board, who they think need to be doing far, far more.