Luis Enrique has made it clear that Barcelona “are always open to improving our squad” as deals for Jasper Cillessen and Paco Alcacer are reportedly close.
Barca are expected to sign a goalkeeper and forward before the transfer window shuts on August 31, with Ajax’s Cillessen tipped to join as a replacement for Claudio Bravo and Valencia’s Alcacer the heavy favourite to satisfy the champions’ need for a fourth striker.
“We’re preparing for this campaign as we have all before it,” the Coach said at a Press conference ahead of La Blaugrana’s opening-day clash with Real Betis in La Liga on Saturday.
“Being champions gives us a relative advantage, and we know that if we follow this line then we can win [another title].
“This is the trophy that marks what you’ve done during the season and that’s a very clear source of encouragement for us.
“We start off at home against Betis, who have made many changes, not only to their squad but also a change in idea of their Coach.
“Assuming [Lionel Messi] is our best player, his position is based on where is best for him to participate the most. The more he participates, the better.
“All [the new faces] have been good in their minutes [on the pitch]. Their adaptation hasn’t been seen in their two games.
“It’s always difficult to change city, club and teammates. They should go [about their business] with tranquillity.
“There are many things and many concepts to work on, but we’re very high on a human level and that always helps new players.
“[On his criticism of the Supercopa], my criticism was about some of the things I saw, and I hope things change for the good of everyone.
“What sets this squad from others is their ability to reinvent themselves and be competitive in every training session.
“But our trophy [wins] are in the past. The present and immediate future are the most important things.
“Motivation is achieved by having players of our level. Being here for a long time is very difficult [for a player].
“I think all Leagues are difficult. Our opponents will be the same as the ones we faced before, but I prefer to focus on Barca and forget about rivals.
“Nothing has changed [with Arda Turan]. I see him like he was last season, but he’s finding it easier with each day because he’s been here longer.
“[On the transfer market], things are going well, thank you. The circumstances are normal and there are still a few days until August 31.
“It’s true that we’re still thinking about various things, but I repeat once again: we’re always open to improving our squad.
“I remember [Gus Poyet] as a player clearly. He had proven quality. In England, he’s been at four teams. He has experience, pedigree and bases his tactics on keeping the ball and the high press.
“I’ve thought about [Sergi Roberto as a central midfielder] and I’m sure he’d do well, but I also think about [Ivan] Rakitic there.”