Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu says Dembele is already a better player than Neymar

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu says Dembele is already a better player than Neymar

- Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu says France World Cup winner Ousmane Dembele is better than Neymar

- The Brazilian Neymar completed a switch to PSG for a world-record transfer fee of €222m (£198m/$250m) in the summer of 2017

- Dembele arrived Barca for €105m (£90.6m/$118m) from Dortmund as a replacement for the Brazilian weeks later

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu believes French winger Ousmane Dembele is a much better player than PSG’s Neymar.

According to report, Bartomeu revealed during an interview with TVE in Spain, that the Frenchman is in a different class from the Brazilian star he replaced at Camp Nou.

Interestingly, Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona in a world-record transfer fee of €222m (£198m/$250m) in the summer of 2017, with Dembele completing a switch from Dortmund to Camp Nou for €105m (£90.6m/$118m) weeks later.

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Bartomeu also found time to speak about Philippe Coutinho’s situation with the La Liga pacesetters.

“I explained that we have a project with Dembele and Coutinho with Neymar’s money,” Bartomeu was quoted as saying on TVE.

“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.”

The 56-year-old Bartomeu also disclosed some of the club's summer transfer targets with the 2018-19 campaign fast approaching.

Barcelona have already signed Frenkie de Jong from Ajax for €75m (£64.7m/$84.8m) and Bartomeu revealed the Blaugrana might return for their defender Matthijs de Ligt.

But he waved off reports linking Antoine Griezmann with a switch to the Catalan side.

“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.

“With Ajax there is a very good relationship. With De Ligt, I do not know what will happen. It seems he will be on the market and when we talk to the coaches we will see if we’re in for him or not.

“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.”

Earlier, reported that Lionel Messi will return to Barcelona starting XI in their Champions League quarter-final reverse tie against Manchester United on Tuesday, April 16, at Nou Camp club boss Ernesto Valverde has revealed.

The Argentine suffered a bloodied face in the quarter-final first leg showdown after a strong challenge from Chris Smalling. After which, Messi missed last weekend’s draw with Huesca. Speaking during his pre-match press conference Valverde said: "[Messi] is fine after the knock he had.

"He's in perfect shape for the game tomorrow (today),” he said. ( -> We have updated to serve you better

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