Puyol announced on Tuesday that he was leaving Camp Nou at the end of this season and speaking on TV3, Bartomeu paid tribute to the departing captain.
“I’m sad for what it means for Puyol,” Bartomeu said.
“But I’m happy with the path he has taken at this club. I don’t know what he’ll do in the future but he’s welcome to return to Barca.
“His spirit and determination would teach the younger players well.
“If this was America we’d retire his shirt number and hang it high in Camp Nou.”
Bartomeu added that no one was present at Puyol’s Press conference at the request of the man himself, and that Puyol told the Barca hierarchy last week that he wanted to leave.
“There are no central defenders at the club that can replace Puyol,” Bartomeu added.
“So we will look. [There will be two signings] – a centre-back and a goalkeeper.”
Bartomeu also confirmed the club’s intention to retain Tata Martino for at least next season, despite not yet speaking with the Coach about his future.