September 8, 2016

Alcacer happy with supporting role at Barca

Alcacer happy with supporting role at Barca

Spanish international striker Paco Alcacer recognised he will have to make the most of relatively few opportunities to make his mark at Barcelona as back-up to a fearsome front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Alcacer was presented at the Camp Nou on Thursday after completing a 30 million euro ($33 million) move from Valencia on the penultimate day of the transfer window.

“I have come to the best club in the world, the club that plays the best football. To be here with Suarez, Messi, Neymar, I am going to learn a lot from them,” said Alcacer, who signed a five-year deal with a 100 million euro buyout clause.

“The role (I have) is for the coach to decide. The season is long and there are lots of games and all the players that are here are going to do their bit.

“I came here to improve as a player, I have to take the opportunities I have.”

Alcacer’s signing ended a long wait for Barca to replace Pedro Rodriguez, who left for Chelsea last August, as a fourth forward option behind the star South American trio.

However, sporting director Robert Fernandez insisted Alcacer can make an impact.

“You have three forwards of an unrepeatable level, but Paco is going to help us a lot. There are a lot of matches during the season.”

Alcacer is likely to make his debut on Saturday when Alaves visit the Camp Nou and could even do so from the start with Messi struggling with a groin strain and Neymar and Suarez recently returned from World Cup qualifiers in South America.

Meanwhile, director of sporting institutional relations Albert Soler, confirmed Barca are looking into their legal options against Brazilian club Santos over the transfer of Gabriel Barbosa to Inter Milan.

Barca had a first refusal option on Barbosa, who starred alongside Neymar as Brazil won Olympic gold last month, due to the complicated series of agreements that brought Neymar to Catalonia in 2013.

“We are in a judicial process. There was a first refusal clause that Santos didn’t comply with,” said Soler.

“We will decide in the next few days, but on the sporting side it hasn’t affected us.”

Barcelona daily Sport reported Santos did not give Barca three working days to match Inter’s 29.5 million euro bid as they were contractually obliged to.