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Valverde talks Coutinho, Umtiti and Dembele ahead of Celta Vigo clash

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La Liga 2017-18 - FC Barcelona vs Deportivo La Coruna Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has faced the press for the first time in 2018 and faced questions on a whole range of subjects.

Unsurprisingly Philippe Coutinho was high on the list of topics, and Valverde did not give much away, although he was far more confident on Samuel Umtiti’s future.

Here are the best bits...

Valverde on Umtiti

"I'm not worried about what clubs might or might not do. Umtiti is a great player and we expect him to stay at Barca for many more years and for him to enjoy his football with us.

"To an extent, the buyout clause is made high so that you can't buy the player but, as time goes by, that fee doesn't seem so high at all.

"But the player still has to want to leave. We're very happy with Umtiti and I'm sure he's going to stay here for a very long time."

Valverde on Coutinho

"Sometimes I come in here and I learn about things that are happening; whether they're true or not, I don't know.

"Coutinho plays for another team and he is a great player for that team. If he plays for Barca in the future or not, I don't know.

"I like the players I have in my team and if another one comes in the future, I'm sure he has to be a very good player, too.

"I've got nothing to say about Coutinho. We respect the fact he plays for another club."

Valverde on Dembele

“Getting back a player like Ousmane Dembele is very positive for us. We know that he was injured just as he was adapting to the team.

“Now he needs to go back and start that adaptation all over again. He’s doing that in training at the moment.

“Let's see if he can help us out, we are sure he will because he's a very important member of the squad.

“It's not just in January we need him to be at his best but for the rest of the season. I’m sure he will adapt and deliver.”

Valverde on Celta Vigo

“We are very excited about playing in the Copa del Rey of course and I think the fans are as well

“I certainly agree that Celta is one of the most difficult teams we could have been drawn against.

“Not just for what they've done in previous seasons but for what they've done this season too.

“They're a team that puts you under a lot of pressure and have got the better of Barca a few times in the past.”