Valverde welcomes Vidal's energy and presence

Valverde welcomes Vidal's energy and presence

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Arturo Vidal will bring a different, more direct dimension to Barcelona's midfield this season, according to coach Ernesto Valverde.

Ernesto Valverde expects "warrior" Arturo Vidal to offer something different in Barcelona's midfield as the Chile international finalises a transfer from Bayern Munich.

Vidal is expected to be confirmed as a Barca player upon the successful completion of a medical after a deal was agreed between the two clubs.

At 31, the former Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus star is approaching the latter stages of his career.

But Barca coach Valverde expects the Serie A, Bundesliga and Copa America winner to compliment the less combative players in central positions. 

A big presence on the field

"He's a player who we hope will bring energy to the midfield," the boss said ahead of his team's International Champions Cup match against AC Milan in Santa Clara, California on Sunday.

"He has a lot of experience and has played a lot of games on all the teams he has appeared with. He's accustomed to playing in big matches.

"He has a lot of presence on the field and I think that will be very good for us."

Many observers will consider Vidal to be an improvement on Brazil international Paulinho, who has returned to Guangzhou Evergrande just one season after a surprise switch to Camp Nou. 

"Like Paulinho, he's a player who's a little bit different than the ones we have and we think he will be able to adapt well," Valverde said. 

"He's a warrior. Our team has space for many different types of players.

"Last year there was a little bit of controversy when Paulinho came, and before he even played a single minute. Then people saw that he worked out really well."

Questioned about Barca's other potential transfer activity, Valverde said: "We are trying to enrich our team.

"We are FC Barcelona and, like any other club, we are open to improving our team.

"We don't know what might happen before the end of the transfer window."

Rafinha and Cillessen

Valverde was reluctant to guarantee Rafinha a place in the Barca squad during the season ahead amid rumours of a potential exit for the 25-year-old.

"Rafinha is having a good preseason and we'll see what happens in the end," he said.

"Right now he is on our team and last year he wasn't able to participate much and I didn't see him until January."

Jasper Cillessen's future, though, appears more assured, although he is likely to remain Barca's second-choice goalkeeper behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen. 

"I can't imagine any other situation than him being here," he said.

"He's a player we are expecting to have. He's a great goalkeeper and a great professional."


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