Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde held his first press conference after several days of pre-season work with his team. He discussed transfers, working with Lionel Messi, and the young players from Barça B.
First impressions: “I’m very happy with how things are and how things are going. The team are happy, and it’s all about increasing the work load and getting in good shape physically. We need to keep polishing things. I’m delighted.”
Reinforcements: “I don’t think this is the place to discuss players that aren’t ours. We have to be alert to everything, but we have a great squad. I’m happy with the squad I have.”
Asking for transfers: “The communication is fluid and names are coming up. Asking for this player or that player because they’re the objective of my life? No. The best transfers are the ones that are in my team. That is what I value, because they’re the good ones. It’s not easy to improve what we have here.”
Valverde relieved to have Messi
Style of play: “We haven’t been here long, but there are questions that come decided. We’re obliged to have the ball, play attacking football… Barça’s trademark style will continue to be seen.”
Messi: “Leo is a unique player and he will have the same role that he has had in the past. He can do everything well… Having Messi by my side is a relief.”
Deulofeu: “He has a muscular issue and is recovering. He’s one of our players and we believe that he can help us during the season.”
Verratti? 'I'll work with what I have'
Verratti: “I don’t think about whether we can bring in a player. My idea is to work with what I have here.”
Young players: “They look well, and excited. They are helping us with the sessions. That jump, form Segunda B to being with us, isn’t felt that much. This year is important for them. They will be in the Segunda, a division in which it is tough to win matches. Everyone has the best intentions, but we’ll see what happens.”