Featured Interviews

Vice President Rafael Yuste: “Signing Haaland isn’t possible right now”

FC Barcelona’s Vice President Rafa Yuste / MUNDO DEPORTIVO

FC Barcelona’s vice president Rafael Yuste spoke to Mundo Deportivo on Sunday where he talked about Koeman, Xavi, Messi’s departure and possible transfers like Haaland.

Rafael Yuste is FC Barcelona’s current Vice President, meaning he is Joan Laporta’s right-hand man. The two have been friends since they were kids. Now, Yuste has spoken out about a lot of things that have happened with the club in a huge interview with Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

About the decision of not sacking Ronald Koeman:

“After seeing that Koeman felt down by everything he heard, Laporta approached him and Koeman opened up much more than he did before. We had a meeting with the captains and told them that we trust in Koeman and believe in the current project.”

“More than a supporter of Ronald, I’m a supporter of sticking with the coach there is and putting your full trust in him. I was lucky enough to be on Laporta’s board when we had Rijkaard and Guardiola. Back then, there were also doubts because of the results. The phase of creating an understanding between the President and the coach always takes a while, and lately, that understanding is getting much better.”

“We listened to what Ronald told us about how the team’s situation is and based on what he tells us, the executives advise us on how to make the best decisions. We have suffered a lot of injuries, Ronald has not had a fully fit team available often. He has the courage of trusting our homegrown players.”

About the possibility of Xavi being Barça’s coach:

“Laporta talks with Xavi a lot, just like with Pep and other people he knows from football. I don’t ask him about this because it’s private stuff.”

Xavi is a friend. I have a very good relationship with him, just like with Pep. Whether I like Xavi or not, I like Ronald Koeman. I don’t know if Xavi is ready or not. I knew that Pep was ready because I followed him closely for a year. I know Xavi is a student of the school of football, but I don’t watch him give training every day. For me, Koeman is the coach.”

About Leo Messi’s departure:

“We spoke with Jorge Messi and we explained everything very clearly, nothing more. I never had an argument with him. I simply explained the situation of the club.”

“Laporta kept saying everything was progressing well because that was true. We only received the ‘due diligence’ results a few weeks after we entered them.”

About possible transfers like Erling Haaland:

“I don’t see the Haaland transfer happening right now. In previous years, players were bought without being sure whether they could be afforded or not. All that did was increase the debt.”

“We always want to have the best players in the world and Haaland is one of them. With the current financial situation left behind by the previous board, this operation can’t happen right now. We come from a huge economic crisis. I’m not saying it isn’t our goal to have the best players, because that is our goal, but just not right now.”

About the current squad:

“Kun (Aguero) is gradually making his return to training. Ansu (Fati) is almost ready to be a starter again. Dembélé is also about to return, but we are talking about players coming back from long-term injuries, so it will take them a few weeks to reach their highest level. If we put too much pressure on them, they can easily get injured again.”

“We can be moderately optimistic about Pedri and Ansu Fati. Hopefully, we’ll see two contract renewals next week. We’re also working on Dembélé’s case. I think he’s very excited about Barça, I met with him the other day. He’s eager to play a decisive role and excited about this new project.”

“I’m moderately optimistic about Sergi Roberto‘s situation, we’re reaching the end of the negotiations.”

“I’m very happy for Gavi, he has an inappropriate maturity for his age, he seems 37 instead of 17 years old. We’re going to give him this security (of fixing his contract, which currently has a 50 million release clause) so that he sees that Barça has to be his home for many years to come.”

“It wasn’t possible to keep Ilaix (Moriba) because of the attitude of the player. When lines that can’t be crossed are crossed, you have to give a message to the youngsters who come from La Masía. You have to love the club more than money.”

“Once we have recovered all of the injured players, I think we have a squad that can compete.”