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Ernesto Valverde talks Rafinha, Riqui Puig and Paul Pogba ahead of Alaves clash

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Time to get down to work

FC Barcelona v Boca Juniors - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde faced the press on Friday ahead of the start of the Liga season, with Alaves the first visitors to the Camp Nou on Saturday.

He spoke about several of his players, the possibility of further signings and gave his thoughts on Saturday’s opposition.

Here are the best bits

Valverde on Rafinha

The transfer window is open until August the 31st and there’re many rumors. For the moment I’m very happy with my team including Rafinha. He’s with us and the only thing which has changed in respect to last year is that he’s spent a long period of time out injured. We spoke with him and searched for a solution in the January transfer window because the team was already complete and he needed regular minutes. He’s our player and for the moment he’ll continue with us.

Valverde on Riqui Puig

He’s a player with whom we are extremely satisfied because of what he’s doing and what he has demonstrated. He belongs to the ‘B’ team and, of course, we have him to help us out during the season. The fact is that he has managed the preseason well is much better for us and he gives us a good perspective on the future.

Valverde on Paul Pogba

We do not get into discussions about players of other teams. We want them to respect our players and we respect those of others.

Valverde on the possibility of more signings

I do not stop to compare squads with the previous ones, but I have some extraordinary players. We do not know if the squad is closed or not. We have a good team to face what’s coming, but there’s still time. The markets are closing, there are many rumours... but here we will continue until August 31. I’m happy with what I have.

Valverde on Alaves

Alaves are a team that plays good games at the Camp Nou. They’re the last team to win here, and since Abelardo came they have been faithful to a style and have done well.