The midfielder has agreed to join the club in a €41
million deal from Atletico Madrid but his transfer
could still be cancelled if the winner of Barcelona’s
Neymar has backed Barcelona president Josep
Maria Bartomeu’s decision to sign Arda Turan,
claiming the midfielder is one of the best players in
The Blaugrana announced on Monday that they had
agreed a €41 million deal with Atletico Madrid ,
though the deal has been complicated by Barca’s
Whoever wins the vote on July 20 retains the right
to veto the proposed transfer at a cost of €4.1m to
the Catalan club.
Agusti Benedito has already confirmed that should
he triumph, he will send Arda back to Atletico,
claiming the deal was “an act of disloyalty” , while
fellow candidate Joan Laporta admitted that he has
yet to decide whether he would keep the 28-year-
Neymar, though, is in no doubt about Arda’s
potential value to Barca – even though the former
Galatasaray man will not be eligible for selection
until January because of the club’s transfer ban.
“Arda Turan is a great player,” the Brazil captain
told SPORT . “He is one of the best there is in La
Liga. He has great quality and will help us a lot.”
Meanwhile, Neymar has defended his decision to
leave the Selecao after he was hit with a
tournament-ending suspension during the Copa
The forward was banned for four games for
sparking a mass brawl and lashing out at the
referee following Brazil’s group-stage loss to
Neymar has been criticised for leaving host nation
Chile after it was confirmed the Brazilian Football
Confederation (CBF) would not be challenging the
suspension – but the 23-year-old maintains that it
was the right decision for the team.
“I told Dunga and his coaching staff that it would be
difficult to stay there,” the ex-Santos starlet stated.
“If I had stayed, it would only have hurt my team-
“If I had smiled in training, they would have said
that I did not care anymore.
“And if there was pouting, they would have said that
I was angry.
“So, it was best to leave. We talked and left the
issue in the hands of Dunga and the CBF.”
Brazil were subsequently eliminated at the quarter-
final stage by Paraguay, prompting another national
inquest into the Selecao’s failings – a year on from
their humiliating World Cup failure on home soil.
However, Neymar believes the five-time world
champions need to come to terms with the fact they
can’t win all of the time.
“Losing is part of football,” he added. “Now we need
to prepare well for the World Cup qualifiers.
“Football is very even. Brazil does not always win.
It is becoming increasingly difficult.”
Neymar will miss the Selecao’s first two qualifiers
because of his ban.
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