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Valverde explains Deulofeu omission and talks Dembele, Coutinho and Rafinha

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The boss has had plenty to say this week

FC Barcelona Press Conference Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona face Celta Vigo on Saturday and Ernesto Valverde has faced the press ahead of the clash.

The big team news is that there’s no Gerard Deulofeu or Nelson Semedo this weekend and Valverde explained why he had left the winger out.

He also provided fitness updates on Ousmane Dembele, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto and Andre Gomes.

Here are the best bits...

Valverde on Gerard Deulofeu

Gerard's not in the squad for tomorrow because other people are there. We have a big squad, sometimes I pick some players sometimes I pick others.

You've asked me a lot about him, what's good about him is he is very insistent, he fights hard, he tries to make a diference and be decisive in attack.

He did that against Murcia and has done that in other games. There's another game next week so I'm sure he will get chances.

Like everyone he needs to be effective, score goals, help the defence. To be a regular starter I have to pick him. He has my favour but there’s Arda Turan, there’s Iniesta, there’s Gomes there’s so many players I have to chose from.

Valverde on Ousmane Dembele

I’ve been asked this before. He's making good progress with his recovery. We think he could be back relatively soon but as I've said we're not going to run any risks and we will not bring him back a single week earlier than necessary.

In theory we are not planning on using him until after Christmas but let's wait and see how things go. He might be able to start joining the group but we have no intention of running any risks.

Valverde on Philippe Coutinho

The problem is we've been speaking about players for a long time that are not part of the club.

There was a lot of talk during the close season but right now we can't sign anybody so let's just concentrate on what we have to do.

It's damaging to us to be discussing these things when the transfer window is closed.

At the moment Coutinho is in a different team, he's not one of my players, I want to focus on my team for now.

Valverde on Rafinha

He's OK relatively speaking. He's been out for a long time, he's been training on his own, that's tough for him.

We need to get him back into the group dynamic, after such a long time out, and not being part of the team you need to take things ,we don't want to overload him.

But as far as I can see, and from talking to him, he's in a positive mood and obviously he's looking forward to getting back into the team.

Valverde on Andre Gomes and Sergi Roberto

He [Sergi] got a run out the other day, really to get back in touch with the team. There's no reason why they both can't start the game tomorrow.

Valverde on the understanding between Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi

They are two players who synchronise well together. Alba is great at finding space and knowing the right time to break through the defence.

Leo has incredible vision, he has an innate way of knowing where the ball will go. This understanding with Alba is something we take advantage of, that's one of the strong parts of our team.