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Ernesto Valverde talks Neymar, Riqui Puig, Rakitic, Umtiti ahead of Napoli friendly

The Barça manager spoke to the press on Friday

FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona will play the final game of preseason on Saturday when they face Napoli in Michigan, and Ernesto Valverde faced the media on his pre-match press conference.

As usual during a transfer window Valverde had to speak about a lot of rumors, including Neymar, Ivan Rakitic, Riqui Puig and others. Samuel Umtiti’s form and the challenges ahead for the new season. Oh, and he spoke about the Napoli game too.

On Neymar

Right now it’s just an assumption, we’ll see what happens soon. What I know is that I’m the manager and I have to work with the players I have. What is going to happen or not we’re going to see, but I don’t think about that, I think about Saturday.

On his feelings about the squad

I am always happy about the players I have, they are all very good. Last year, except for one half and the Cup Final, everything was almost perfect. What we try to do is improve.

On Samuel Umtiti

He’s our player, a world champion, a regular international, he had physical problems last year but we hope he’ll be good. There is competition, Lenglet performed well last season.

On whether Rakitic will 100% stay at the club

He’s very important to us, we don’t know if he’ll be this year, we think so because of all he brings to us, his work speaks for itself. I can’t guarantee something 100%. I don’t know if he’ll stay. Right now we count on him the same way we count on the others.

On the final test before Bilbao

It is the final match, and it is a match in which we must show not what will happen at Bilbao but what could happen. We’ll face a rival that gave us trouble last time and it’s a very good test for Bilbao.

On a possible loan for Riqui Puig

Both he and the club must evaluate a possible loan. It’s true that right now we have a lot of players in midfield.

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