Gerard Pique Game Jersey

Gerard Pique asked Barcelona’s supporters for some patience after the players were jeered off the pitch following Tuesday’s goalless draw against Slavia Prague in the Champions League.

Barca had the best chances at Camp Nou, with Lionel Messi hitting the bar and visiting goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar forced into a string of fine saves. However, they were unable to break the Czech side down as they failed to score in a home game for the first time since February 2018.

The local fans grew increasingly unsettled as the match drew on. Ousmane Dembele was whistled when he was taken off on the hour mark and even louder whistles greeted the full-time whistle.

“I would ask for a little patience,” Pique told Movistar after the game. “I know the fans want more, we understand that, but we’re working hard to find the solutions. Not so much in terms of results, but in terms of how we’re playing.

“Everyone has their own opinion. I’ve spent a lot of time here now and when the supporters expect things to go better and they don’t, there is some criticism.

“We [the players] are trying to resolve these situations as quickly as possible. We have to keep cool heads. I think we are in a good position. We’re top of La Liga and our Champions League group. We’re not playing as well as we expect. The results aren’t bad, but they could be better. We do have to improve.”

Gerard Pique heard the boobirds at Camp Nou after Barcelona's goalless draw.

Barca have eight points from their four Champions League games so far. A win from either of their last two games, at home to Borussia Dortmund and away to Inter Milan, will see them reach the last 16.

Asked if the Spanish champions are capable of winning the competition the way they’re playing, Pique added: “It’s difficult to say right now but there have been times when we’ve not looked good in the past and we’ve ended up winning trophies.

“With Luis Enrique, it looked like things weren’t working for the first six months and then we won the Treble.”

Coach Ernesto Valverde said that “it’s good that they’re demanding” when asked about the fans’ reaction to Tuesday’s draw, while defender Clement Lenglet said they’re entitled to express their opinions.

“The supporters have the right to express what they feel and we have to accept what they say,” the French defender told reporters. “We’re going through a difficult moment.”

Barca host Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday before the next international break. They are sweating on the fitness of Jordi Alba (hamstring) and Sergio Busquets (stomach problem), both of whom were unable to finish the match against Slavia.

Luis Suarez, who sat out the game against the Czechs, is also a doubt with a calf injury.

Arda Turan Game Jersey

Arda Turan is on loan at Istanbul Basaksehir from Barcelona.

Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan, on loan with Turkish club Basaksehir, has been handed a suspended prison sentence for firing a gun to cause fear and panic, illegal possession of weapons and intentional injury.

The court sentenced Turan to two years and eight months in prison, but he will not serve that term unless he commits a crime in the next five years.

Turan was involved in a fight with Turkish singer Berkay Sahin in an Istanbul nightclub late last year, leaving the singer with a broken nose. Turan later arrived at the hospital with a gun which he fired at the ground, causing panic.

Basaksehir said they had fined the 31-year-old 2.5 million Turkish lira over the incident.

He joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid for €34m in 2015, winning four trophies, making 55 appearances and scoring 15 goals for the Catalan club.

Turan has played for Turkey 100 times and scored 17 goals for his country.

Gerard Pique Jersey

Barcelona’s Gerard Pique has defended Ousmane Dembele at the end of another difficult week for the France forward, saying all players make mistakes when they are young.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the club are concerned over elements of Dembele’s lifestyle and he was left out of the squad for Sunday’s 4-3 defeat to Real Betis after missing training earlier in the week.

Barca said Dembele missed Thursday’s session with an illness but local media reports said they had been unable to locate him for an hour and a half before finally establishing that he was at home with a stomach bug, and Pique said his exclusion by manager Ernesto Valverde should serve as a lesson.

“It’s the coach’s decision [not to call him up],” Pique said. “He has a lot of talent and a lot of room to improve. If the coach doesn’t call him up, it’s to help him improve. We’re all here to help him. We’ve all been young like him, we’ve all made mistakes like him.

“From experience, you have to teach [the young players] that football lasts for all 24 hours of the day — you have to live it from the first minute until the last. I am sure he knows that and that he will keep improving with time.”

Ousmane Dembele has struggled to find his feet since joining Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Barca director Guillermo Amor said to make it at Camp Nou, you have to go the extra mile.

“All the professionals at the club always have to keep moving forward,” Amor said. “They have to live the profession and work hard every day to play. At Barcelona, you have to prove yourself every day — in games and in training.

“It takes a lot to play for Barcelona, a lot. There are a lot of good players. You have to play where you’re told, the minutes you’re given and when you’re not playing you have to be patient and wait for your chance. You have to be ready when it comes.”

Dembele started the season well, scoring five goals in his first six appearances, but has not started a league game since Sept. 29 since being replaced in the side by Arthur Melo.

He did score in last weekend’s comeback win over Rayo Vallecano as a substitute and started against Inter in the Champions League in midweek before missing training on Thursday.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Barca still have no plans to sell him — despite reported interest from several Premier League sides — and hope that as he gets older he will become more aware of what’s needed to make it at one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

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Barcelona have said they are in a position to pursue their interest in Philippe Coutinho in January after having bids for the Liverpool playmaker rejected in the summer.

In a long-running transfer saga, Barca did not give up their pursuit of the Brazil international until deadline day, when sources told ESPN FC they claimed to have been asked for €200 million.

Liverpool turned down three Barcelona offers but denied asking for €200m and said Coutinho was never for sale.

However, Mundo Deportivo reported on Wednesday that Coutinho has an agreement with Liverpool that will allow him to leave Anfield in the winter window.

“We are [financially] prepared to sign Coutinho or any other player in January,” Barca CEO Oscar Grau said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“What we want is to have the most competitive squad possible. We will look at [signing players], even if there aren’t any sales.

“The club will remain sustainable, we don’t want losses and we have to continue to look for ways to generate income.”

Liverpool's Brazil international Philippe Coutinho remains a Barcelna target.

In the days leading up to the August transfer deadline, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said he wanted more quality to be added following the sale of Neymar.

Although the club did not make any signings following his comments, Grau said they would back him in the January market.

“The club is in a position to give them the best team possible, which is what we want,” he added.

“The club is in a very solvent, positive position. We are doing things sensibly. What we want — and what we are achieving — is for our teams to be as competitive as possible.”

Grau announced a predicted record revenue of €897m for this season, an increase of €189m on last season, partly thanks to Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“We’re presenting figures for this season which are the highest of any club in the world,” he said. “No other teams — not even in the NBA or the NFL — reach these numbers.

“The club is on track to reach its target [of generating €1bn a year] by 2021.”

Grau stressed that he did not want to answer questions about the political situation in Spain and the consequences an independent Catalonia could have for Barcelona and their revenue.

However, he confirmed that the club wanted to remain part of La Liga regardless of the outcome of Catalonia’s push for secession.

“The budget is done on the basis that we continue in La Liga,” he said. “I believe that Barcelona and La Liga have to go hand in hand.”