Valencia coach Marcelino attended the press this afternoon to preview Monday's meeting with Atlético de Madrid at Mestalla. Inevitably, he was asked about Rodrigo's situation - Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has the player high on his wishlist with the transfer window due to close in a fortnight's time.
Monday's visit from Atlético: “We were unable to beat them in both of our meetings last season and we are really fired up and keen to win this one. Atlético are a great team - they're even better now than they were last year; they have probably the best squad they've had in many years and they'll be on a high after beating Real Madrid in the Super Cup. But we're at home, with our fans behind us. We're hopeful we can win, knowing how the difficult it will be for the rivals we'll be playing”.
Valencia ready to start the new campaign
How is the team shaping up ahead of the league debut: “Really good. The pre-season is only to prepare for when official competition starts. We're on an upward trajectory, we played well in our meeting with Bayer Leverkusen. But official competition is another story - as we saw last night with Betis and Levante, which ended 0-3. The first game is always a leap into the unknown but playing at home will help us. Atlético have an advantage in that they have already played a high level game - one which they won. We're full of hope, the squad's been training well and the players are motivated. We have much expectations for this opening match and are well aware of the dificulties we will face. We should try to minimize our mistakes. Atleti are a very balanced side and it's very difficult to score against them. They've played and won a lot of games on that premise. At the back we will need to be perfect and in attack we need to generate more chances on goal than we did last season - last season that was one of the areas where we struggled”.
Rodrigo would cost Real Madrid 120 million
Rodrigo, a priority for Lopetegui: “That's a question for Lopetegui. But I think Rodrigo will be staying with us. He looks very focused, motivated and committed. If Real Madrid want the player, there is a buy-out clause (120 million euros). Anyway, that's the situation, we'll see”.
Guedes: “As I've said before. It seems he'll be leaving PSG and I still think we are in with a good chance. But I have no idea whether that will be confirmed or not”.
LaLiga games to be played in the USA: “I read about that but it's not something which we have paid too much attention to.We have the opening game of the season to get ready for, against Atlético. The normal thing to happen is that all of us who are working and involved in football reach an agreement on what is best for everyone”.
Sarabia: “He's a great player but I can't see him joining us”.