Ousmane Dembele is now better than Neymar, says Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu

Bartomeu also discussed Philippe Coutinho's debut season at the Nou Camp and potential summer signings

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Ousmane Dembele is now better than Neymar, according to the president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Neymar left Barcelona during the summer of 2017, joining Paris Saint-Germain in a £200m transfer and was replaced by the young French winger Dembele, who signed from Dortmund for around £120m.

“The level of Dembele is now better than that of Neymar,” Bartomeu told Spanish television. ”He is a much better player and has adapted now.”

Neymar’s world-record transfer fee also went towards bringing Philippe Coutinho to the club from Liverpool, but the Brazilian has struggled to fully settle in his debut season at the Nou Camp.

“Coutinho is a great player, getting better,” insisted Bartomeu. “It isn’t easy to play for Barcelona. You have to adapt. He was here for six months last season and now has a full year behind him. He has the confidence of the coach, he is a world class player and Barca need world-class players.”

Asked about possible summer recruits, Bartomeu admitted that Barcelona would consider buying the highly rated young defender Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax, having already secured his teammate Frenkie de Jong, who will move in July.

But he dismissed talk of signing Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. “If Griezmann wanted to come he would have to talk to the coaches, but his name is not on the table.”

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