Barcelona coach Xavi faced the press on Saturday to preview his team’s next game against Real Valladolid on Sunday in La Liga.
The manager spoke about potential transfers, Jules Kounde’s situation, Alejandro Balde and striker Ansu Fati’s fitness.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Real Valladolid
I think it will be a very difficult match. They play the ball very well from the back. We want to have a very strong start. We admire Pacheta here. He’s brave and offensive, and tomorrow it will be a difficult game. They drew with Sevilla. We’re up against a Valladolid team that does things very well.
Xavi on Kounde
It’s a negotiation with La Liga. We are pretty sure that Jules can play tomorrow. We are optimistic.
Xavi on Barca’s UCL group
It’s a very difficult group, perhaps the toughest. We’ve made very good signings, invested a lot and we want to go through and fight for the trophies but yes the challenge is massive.
Xavi on full-backs
With Balde, we seem well covered at left-back. On the right, we don’t have a natural option beyond Dest, who knows what his situation is. We will see how the market is but the club’s intention is to strengthen at right-back.
Xavi on Aubameyang and Memphis
I don’t rule out any situation. Neither Aubameyang leaving or Memphis leaving... many things can happen. Let’s see where we are in five days.
Xavi on Balde
Balde’s played very well so far. He’s a young player, he has a lot of personality, potential. He’s very physical, can defend and attack. Last week he was outstanding.
Xavi on Ter Stegen
He’s a different leader. He’s very professional, a serious player. He doesn’t talk too much but when he does he’s a positive man. Last season he saved us several times. I recall many good performances but yes he’s a very good goalkeeper and we are delighted to have him.
Xavi on Bernardo Silva
You never lose hope, but honestly it is going to be difficult. Not an easy situation, there has to be exits on our part. It’s really difficult, really difficult
Xavo on Pablo Torre
I had a word with him. I think he should stay. I think he’s going to have minutes. He could have left and gone to Racing but I think this year will be a learning curve for him. Here he can learn more.
Xavi on transfers
There is a best case scenario, a less good one, and the worst case scenario. Three scenarios and we will see where we are when the market closes on Thursday. All of them are possible. And then we work with the players that are in the squad. Five days left and a lot can happen, in terms of ins and outs.
Xavi on Braithwaite
He has a contract. It’s all down to the negotiations. He knows my position. In May I told him he should leave. It all depends on the market, the options the player has. But he knows. I think I was very clear.
Xavi on Pique
I talked to him. I told him that we were about to sign many players at the back. It’s only two games so far. He will help us for sure. It depends on him as well. Feelings, training sessions. there’s competition at the back for everyone.
Xavi on Ansu Fati
Half an hour is enough for Ansu Fati at the moment. It’s a process, he’s been out for a long time and he needs to go little by little. I see him happy, he makes a difference. He’s fit but it’s a long process to be fully fit.
Xavi on if Barca have given up on Marcos Alonso
All scenarios are possible. Five days to go and then we’ll see. We are waiting for players to leave. I don’t rule out anything.