Yerry Mina intends to stay with Barcelona, delivering blow to Everton and Tottenham

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Defensive powerhouse: Yerry Mina.

Yerry Mina wants to stay at Barcelona and fight for his place, Marca reports.

The 23-year-old Colombian World Cup star, who joined Blaugurana in January from Palmeiras, has struggled to force his way into Ernesto Valerve’s first-team plans.

Clement Lenglet’s arrival from Sevilla has only seen him slump further down the pecking order, with Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti still the preferred centre-back pairing and Thomas Vermaelen as another back-up.

Both Everton and Tottenham had been tipped to land Mina on a season-long loan deal, however, the defender has no desire to break-off a contract which still runs until 2023.

“I have a contract with Barcelona and I want to be successful there.

“There have been offers for me but right now I want to enjoy my holidays and then we’ll see.

“If they don’t want me, I’ll have to look for the best exit.

“But I remember that my intention is to triumph with Barcelona because it’s the best team in the world.”

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Adrien Rabiot's future is in his own hands amid Barcelona interest

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Top Barcelona target Adrien Rabiot is currently holding talks with club Paris Saint-Germain and their coach Thomas Tuchel over his future.

The 23-year-old Frenchman, who was not part of Didier Deschamps’ winning World Cup squad, has been widely tipped to join Blaugrana in the summer transfer window.

Rabiot has one more year left on his Parc des Princes deal and given the fact it looks unlikely he will extend those terms, the French giants are primed to cash in should a bid in the region of €40 million come in from Barcelona.

However, it appears as though Tuchel has left it up to the player himself to have the final say on his future.

“His future is in his hands, it’s up to him to renew or find a new challenge,” Tuchel said.

“Of course I would love him to stay, because everyone has seen his potential and he’s not yet reached his peak.

“I love working with him but it’s his decision.”

The midfielder featured during PSG’s International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich on Sunday.

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New formation and the Ousmane Dembele dilemma plus other Barcelona issues

Alex Rea 21/07/2018
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A new era beckons for Barcelona with Lionel Messi succeeding the departed Andres Iniesta as club captain, but with the talent in support, boss Ernesto Valverde will hope for more of the same.

The Blaugrana will begin preparations for their La Liga defence with a pre-season tour of the United States and will kick off their schedule against Premier League side Tottenham in California on July 28.

So, with that in mind, we examine some of the key issues for Valverde over the next few weeks.

NEW SEASON AND A NEW FORMATION

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The Barcelona identity is entwined with a 4-3-3 formation with much of their success in the modern era owed to variants of the system.

However, Valverde took a massive step away from the shape and instead opted for a more pragmatic 4-4-2 last season with Messi afforded a free role to both create and destroy.

While domestically it was effective, the step up in class and difficulty on the European stage means a return to 4-3-3 is necessary and it is of course why Barca splurged a club-record fee on Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian’s versatility to play as either an attacking midfielder in the central three or on either side of the front trio will lend well to the shape.

Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic require a forward-thinking creative player in alongside them while further up the pitch Messi and Luis Suarez will benefit from Coutinho’s sorcery.

His position will largely depend on any signings brought into the club – Chelsea’s Willian is reportedly their number one priority while young midfielder Arthur Melo will require time to assimilate – and what Valverde has planned for Ousmane Dembele.

THE DEMBELE DILEMMA

Sevilla v FC Barcelona - La Liga

And so we move onto the World-Cup winning Dembele. Patience is not a virtue gifted to big-money signings and the £135.5 million fee became a vice grip around the neck of the winger, strangling his opportunity to make a true impact last season.

Still just 21, though, he has much to learn but also so much to give and his importance to Barcelona next season can’t be understated. If Valverde does indeed switch to a 4-3-3, Dembele is a raw talent who must be weaponised.

His direct style and piercing pace provide a fine option to work in the front three and if he can demonstrate consistent results, the side will be far more balanced for his inclusion.

On his game, Dembele is a one-man overload for full-backs and his speed draws centre-backs out of position which frees up space for Messi and Suarez. Recycling possession with care is one area he must improve but an injury-free run will help in that regard.

He has all the tools to be a central figure for Barcelona, which is part of the reason why fans are so desperate for him to fulfill that potential, and perhaps with a mix of trust and a bit of love, he can be a success.

Certainly talk of sending him out on loan is nonsensical anyway.

MIDFIELD RECRUITMENT

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The strategy for Barca is to cut down the fringe-player pile rather than allowing those at the top like Dembele to exit.

Andre Gomes, Yerry Mina, Paco Alcacer, Aleix Vidal and Lucas Digne are among the names who could join Paulinho in leaving Camp Nou this summer.

With Iniesta gone as well, that does mean Valverde is a little short on options in the middle and it could see him dip into market despite Arthur’s arrival.

The 21-year-old will need time to integrate and with Ivan Rakitic likely exhausted from an energy-sapping World Cup campaign with Croatia, Barcelona need to bring in at least one more body.

They must choose wisely, though. Miralem Pjanic, Frenkie De Jong, N’Golo Kante, Adrien Rabiot, Christian Eriksen and Thiago Alcantara have all been linked but nothing is set in stone.

Valverde requires a technical talent rather than physical prowess, which is why Paulinho was allowed to depart, and one player who could fit the bill is Rabiot.

The 23-year-old already has a ringing endorsement from a Barca icon.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Xavi said of Rabiot: “He’s a player of an excellent level technically.

“He could play perfectly as a central midfielder at Barca. He could contribute a lot, but that’s already entering the realms of speculation.

“I’ve been asked a lot about [Antoine] Griezmann this summer and, in the end, he stayed at Atletico. But if Rabiot comes, he’d be a great signing.”

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