Neymar's position not an issue, insists Martino

Gerardo Martino insists Neymar has "no problem" with being employed in a number of attacking positions and has backed him to return to form.

The Brazilian has spent time in the treatment room with an ankle injury and was only restored to the starting line-up at the beginning of March.

He has been used in a variety of roles for the Liga champions, playing on the left, right and through the middle for Martino's men.

But Barca's coach, whose side host Osasuna on Sunday, is adamant that Neymar can be effective in all of those positions and that the 22-year-old will prove his worth once he gets back up to full speed.

"Neymar has played at his best as a left-winger or centre-forward but a player of his quality can play on the right, that's not a problem," Martino said.

"He moved to the right against Manchester City and was involved in the second goal. I've talked to him about this, he is a player who has no problem at all adapting to the three positions across the front line.

"But when a player has been injured for a month, it does take time for him to get back to his best. He is an excellent player but it takes time to get back into the swing of things."

Neymar's transfer to Camp Nou is also the subject of an investigation relating to a misappropriation of funds totalling a reported €9.1million, and Martino believes that could be affecting the player.

"There has been all this fuss about his signing, too," he added. "I tend to think it's more to do with extra sporting matters than just what he does on the pitch."

Barca have lost ground in the race to defend their title after defeats to Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid, with next weekend's trip to leaders Real Madrid now looking like a game they cannot afford to lose.

And Martino is glad to have a full week between the visit of Osasuna and El Clasico as he plots a league double over Barca's bitter rivals.

"It's not bad that we've got a full week available, it's how you prepare for it," he said. "The top players have to play a lot of competitions, a lot of games. I think it's very good we have a full week to prepare for the game versus Real."