Ernesto Valverde faced his regular pre-match press conference on Friday and it’s no surprise he faced plenty of questions about midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
The Croatia international has been heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain this week. However, Valverde made it pretty clear he wants Rakitic to stay at Barcelona.
So without any further ado, here are the best bits from today’s presser.
Valverde on Rakitic
Ivan is a fundamental player for our club. Of course we are counting on him. I certainly am. Look at his stats, what he did for the team last year we all know. But just as we analyse players from other teams, other teams analyse our players and that’s only natural.
But I hope is he stays here, I have no doubt about that. I’m the coach and I want the best players for the season and Rakitic is one of my best players. He knows how we play, he’s fully committed to the club so my idea is for him to be here. My job is not to trade players, my job is to win games.
Valverde on Rafinha
Every time you ask about Rafinha I tell you he’s done well in pre-season, not just me but everyone at the club has a high opinion of him. This is the market period, we are all hanging on different things to August 31st so things could still develop. It’s the same as I said before Rafinha is not just a player for now, he’s given great service to the club, there could still be changes, I don’t know. I don’t think about what might happen. While they [Rafinha and Paco] are with us, I’m counting on them, and I hope they do the same.
Valverde on Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid
I don’t know if that weakens them. That’s their problem not mine, we were in a similar situation last summer, we just lost the Super Cup as well. People said we were weak because we lost a key player. But look how it worked out, we got much stronger. I am sure they will try to make a signing but that’s their issue not our concern
Valverde on his new contract
I haven’t spoken to anyone at the club. We are only in August and the season is very long. We know clubs live day to day and it seems a bit early.
Valverde on Arthur
He’s player who is good at possession football, he can get involved in goalscoring moves, he can shoot from outside the area too, I think there’s room for him to improve even more. I’m sure he’s going to help us, we have lost of players for that position, and in some ways he reminds us of Xavi.