The mood at Camp Nou was buoyant on Friday as Robert Lewandowski was presented to Camp Nou. The Polish striker has already been with the club for several weeks but after Barcelona’s preseason tour to the USA, this week was the first time he had been in Barcelona since signing for the club.
That atmosphere was celebratory and wiped away any curmudgeonly feeling that might have lingered from Thursday, when it was announced that Cesar Azpilicueta was staying at Chelsea. A long-time target for Barcelona, it leaves them somewhat short at right-back.
Sporting Director Mateu Alemany was asked during Lewandowski’s press conference exactly what happened.
“We are always in the market, it’s obvious that we were interested in Azpilicueta but he had a series of agreements with his club that weren’t met and he has decided to renew and we wish him the best.”
He gave little indication as to whether Barcelona would dip into the market for a different solution, but Alemany gave nothing away.
“The market and the strategy, we will see what happens, we are focused on registrations and at the moment we are calm.”
While there is no sense in moving rashly for a player without purpose, the fact that the club had identified it as a position to strengthen implies an upgrade is necessary. Currently Sergino Dest and Sergi Roberto would be the prime candidates to occupy the role. Alternatively Xavi Hernandez could move one of Jules Kounde or Ronald Araujo across.