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Valverde talks Coutinho, Deulofeu and Dembele ahead of Levante clash

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2018 FC Barcelona Open Training Session Jan 5th Photo by Pedro Salado/Action Plus via Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has been talking about a range of players in his pre-match press conference as he looks ahead to facing Levante on Sunday.

The Barca boss was of course asked about Philippe Coutinho, but also about the future of Gerard Deulofeu, who has been left out of the squad yet again.

And then there’s also the small matter of Ousmane Dembele, who is fit and available, and even has a chance of starting, according to Valverde.

Valverde on Coutinho

“He’s a great player, just like all the other great players I’m asked about that play for great teams. I can recognise that, but they’re at other teams.

“What I like to do is to talk about the players that I have here. That doesn’t mean I don’t rate Coutinho or the other great players in the world, but we also have great players.

”We haven’t signed anyone. When there’s news, the club will announce it.”

Valverde on Deulofeu

”If Deulofeu asks to leave we’ll evaluate things, but that’s not happened yet.

”He has had his chances over the course of the season and now it’s time for others to have a chance. It’s about the coach having to make decisions. What he has to do is work hard to change his situation and get [back] in the squad.”

Valverde on Dembele

”We have to be careful with him because he needs to find his way back into the team’s dynamic, but of course he has a chance of starting.

”He is looking good, much better. At first [when he signed], he was a little off but he’s been adapting.

“It’s similar now because he’s just come back from a serious injury. But we will have to see because competitive games are different to training.”