Luis Enrique has confirmed that FC Barcelona will look to replace Pedro Rodriguez as they prepare to face Athletic Bilbao in the opening fixture of La Liga.
Barcelona were thrashed 4-0 by Athletic club when they traveled to St. Mames a week ago in the Spanish Super Cup.
Since then, the club have lost the services of Pedro Rodriguez with the winger signing for Chelsea FC after getting frustrated with the lack of opportunities given the form of Neymar, Messi and Luis Suarez.
The addition of Arda Turan was the final straw, with the player now in his late 20s deciding to look for regular first team football.
Enrique confirms FC Barcelona looking to replace Pedro
The trip to Bilbao will see Barcelona without Neymar and Turan and Enrique has confirmed that the club will look to replace Pedro. The Spaniard was quoted saying by . Football Espana:
a With Pedro, we saw it coming because he wanted [to leave]. We’re working on strengthening the team because we counted on Pedro.
Enrique was quoted saying by the FC Barcelona website: a We wanted to know on which players we could count. We knew that the situation was not easy and I wish Pedro all the best.a
Neymar fitness boost
The manager did confirm that Neymar will be back sooner than later, having returned to training on Friday. The departure of Pedro and ineligibility of Turan has created a problem for the club ahead of the crucial opener against Bilbao
Enqrique said: a Neymar has started training today. He has started pre-season this Saturday and given his illness, how he comes on will determine when he will be available.a
a I am not worried if it takes Neymar a little bit of time to get back to fitness. Given how he is, I am sure he will get fit quickly and will be back available soon.a
Speaking on the extended pre-season of the Catalan giants, Enrique added: a It has been a little unusual due to the fact that we have played in two tournaments earlier than normal.
“We have won the European Super Cup and at the end of the season is when we can evaluate the teama s performance. At the moment we are fine, we are prepared to compete and the players are in exceptional shape and looking forward to winning trophies again.a