New Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde laughed off the idea of bringing in new players on Monday saying the best signings were the players already in the dressing room.
“I’m more than happy with the way things stand,” said Valverde when pressed on the potential signing of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti.
“Happy with the players, happy with their work and their attitude,” he said as his players prepare for their trip to the United States on Wednesday.
“I really don’t care about any player anywhere else,” he said, knowing fans will be keen to win back the Spanish League title and indeed the Champions League, both won by their arch-rivals Real Madrid.
“Even if you might argue we need back up in certain areas,” he said, adding Barcelona had no offers on the table for any of their players either. “For me, the best signings are the players I already have in my team.”
He said Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Barcelona’s attacking trident were “a huge factor in the intimidation of our rivals.”
“Messi is a unique player and wherever I play him he will flourish. He will continue in the role he has always had, he’ll continue to do that very well,” he said.
Over the last two seasons Valverde’s predecessor Luis Enrique had sometimes strained relations with Messi, who he pulled deeper and then pushed out to the right.
“We need him both as a creator of chances and a finisher of chances, where he really makes the difference,” insisted the former Athletic Bilbao coach.
“As for Neymar – he’s doing very well in his current role, although we know he too could play in other roles,” said Valverde of the 25-year-old Brazil captain.
Barcelona play Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid in a lightening tour of the United States next week.
Provided by AFP Sport
FC Barcelona continued their preparations for the 2017/18 season with a final session of the week on Sunday morning local time.
In a week in which double daily sessions have been the order of the day, coach Ernesto Valverde gathered his available first team player plus five players from the B squad at the Tito Vilanova field at the Ciutat Esportiva.
Star of the day was midfielder Sergio Busquets who received a round of applause and the traditional ‘tunnel’ from his team mates on the day of his 29th birthday.
The team will return to double daily sessions on Monday (9.30am CET and 6.30pm CET) with the first 15 minutes open to the media.
While the first week back after the summer holidays was always going to be an intense one, FC Barcelona have picked up pace in training, now with their international players returning to the squad.
Returning to training on Friday, at the Ciutat Esportiva, were Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Andres Iniesta and a few more Barca players. Gerard Pique, Arda Turan Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic and others too sweat it out as Ernesto Valverde’s squad look ahead to the next season.
Prior to leaving for their pre-season campaign Barca have signed Nelson Semedo, a right-back from Benfica while also extending Gerard Deulofeu’s contract at the club.
Barca’s pre-season tour kicks off on July 22, when they face Juventus followed by Manchester United on July 26, Real Madrid on July 29 and Chapecoense on August 7.
Below you can see videos from Barca’s first few training sessions.