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Valverde talks Coutinho return, Rafinha exit and Griezmann rumours

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2018 Copa Del Rey Football Espanyol v FC Barcelona Jan 17th Photo by Pedro Salado/Action Plus via Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has been speaking at his pre-match press conference and had some handy updates on the latest topics surrounding the club.

He was pretty optimistic on Philippe Coutinho’s fitness, explained why the club were ready to let Rafinha go and also answered questions on Antoine Griezmann (Well, a bit).

Here’s the best bits...

Valverde on Coutinho

“We aren’t going to put a clear date on the issue, because you always run the risk of mistakes.

“He has a small muscle problem in the right hamstring, this is a place where you have to keep an eye on things as it interferes with his movement.

”I think he’ll be back soon, I don’t know when, whether that is for Thursday or not, he will shortly be integrated into the team.”

Valverde on Rafinha exit

“He isn’t going to train today, he has permission to solve a contractual issue.

”I spoke to him; he has been injured for a long time and with the season underway and further signings it would be difficult for him to play.

”He has given 100 per cent to the group and the other day he played because I thought he would do well.”

Valverde on Griezmann rumours

“Griezmann is a great player but he is a player that plays for another club and Atletico are a club which we respect a lot. “We’re in the transfer window and there’s always lots of speculation and we have to live with it.

“If you’re asking me if he’s a good player, he is, but I care about the players I have here. The club’s made a statement on the matter.”