MADRID: FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has admitted he is pessimistic about the club's chances of strengthening its squad before starting the new season.
Barcelona sit out the first two weeks of La Liga after playing in the quarterfinals of last season's Champions League, and so far the only new faces at the Camp Nou are teenage forward Pedri, Portuguese winger Francisco Trincao and midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who arrives as part of a deal which saw Arthur Melo move to Juventus.
Koeman had expressed an interest in signing Dutch international Memphis Depay from French side Lyon, but in a TV interview on late on Tuesday, he explained that Barca's economic situation was complicating the deal.
"First we have to sell before Depay comes," he told FOX Sports, before indicating that he didn't expect any new signings before Barca begin their campaign at home to Villarreal on September 27.
"We are working hard for the new season and I think we will have the same group of players that we have now in pre-season," he commented.
After selling Ivan Rakitic to Sevilla, Barca are currently looking to sell striker Luis Suarez, with Juventus a possible destination, while Arturo Vidal is close to joining Inter Milan.
Koeman also insisted he had a good relationship with Lionel Messi, after the striker had told the club he wanted to leave, only to later say he would stay in order to avoid lengthy legal wrangling.
"What happened was a conflict between Messi and the club. I have spoken to Messi and we are carrying on as normal," said the Barca boss.