Abidal reflects on Barcelona’s summer exits



Barcelona had a busy transfer market last summer, losing nine members of their senior squad.

Technical secretary Eric Abidal has now discussed the club’s business, explaining why certain players left.

One of the most high-profile departures was that of Yerry Mina, who had only been at the club since the January transfer window.

“He had a great World Cup,” Abidal explained at the club’s ordinary general assembly.

“We analysed his situation internally, with the coach as well.

“We looked at whether he would stay or not.

“There aren’t many players like him in the market, but sometimes there’s a need to take these kinds of decisions.

“He took the decision and we took the decision to sell.

“We had the opportunity to sell him for 30.25 million euros, with 1.5m euros in variables.”

Two other players who followed Mina to Everton were Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes and Abidal discussed them too.

“There was complete transparency with [Digne], as he wanted to play more minutes,” the Frenchman said.

“We didn’t sign a new left-back because we knew there were talented players in the B team.

“[With Andre Gomes], he went to the English league, a league that might suit his profile.”

Abidal also cleared up the situation with Paulinho’s move back to Guangzhou Evergrande after just one season, confirming that the fee was 50m euros.

“An offer from China came,” he said.

“He wanted to go.

“We always thought that if he left then we’d need to react and sign someone of his profile, which is why Arturo Vidal arrived.”

There was also a discussion of the departure of Andres Iniesta, with those in the audience applauding when the Spaniard’s name was read out.

“We could talk about him for hour and hours,” Abidal said of his former teammate.

“He was an exemplary player and person.

“He took the decision to go to another country and to try out a new experience in Japan.

“He left on a free, but he knows that the door is always open here.”

Finally, he spoke about the loss of Paco Alcacer, who also received applause from the crowd and who is on fire in Germany, having scored eight goals in five games.

“He didn’t get many minutes here, but he always delivered when he came on,” he said.

“He wanted to play more.”

Of the other players to be mentioned, Arda Turan was the only other one to receive a response from the audience, with some whistles heard.