Ernesto Valverde had chats with both Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez during training ahead of the match with Real Sociedad. Both players featured heavily for their countries during the international break, and the Barcelona boss has been checking in to see how they are feeling before the game.
Lionel Messi was left distraught after Argentina’s Copa America defeat to Chile in 2016. Former Barcelona and Argentina fitness coach Elvio Paolorosso explained how hard he took defeat: “The dressing room after the Copa America was very painful, but the worst was to come. At two in the morning, more or less, I went to the store room and found Leo completely alone, crying like a kid who had lost his mother. He was distraught and nobody could console him.”
Frenkie de Jong will stay with Ajax this season, but sporting director Marc Overmars knows his preference is to join Barcelona. De Jong is wanted by several clubs which could increase his price, but Barcelona do not want to pay more than €50 million.
Inter Milan will make a fresh approach for Rafinha when the transfer window reopens in January. The Brazilian was disapointed when he failed to clinch a permanent deal to the San Siro and does not seem to be part of Valverde’s plans this season.
Barcelona have denied reports that Andre Cury took a €6.6 million cut of Neymar’s move to PSG. A club statement read: “Barcelona deny having paid any commission to Andre Cury in regards to the exit of Neymar. Cury has a non-exclusive contractual relationship with the club, through his company, to do scouting work. In recent times, he has collaborated with the signings of players such as Paulinho, Yerry Mina, Philippe Coutinho and Arthur. Barcelona reserve the right to take the necessary legal action against those that report false news about the club.”
Barcelona Femeni’s game against Levante on Sunday has had to be postponed. Several of the team’s players have been struck with gastroenteritis during their Champions League trip to Kazakhstan. The club have agreed with the Spanish FA the game can be postponed.
Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre praised Barcelona loanee Paco Alcacer after he scored on his debut on Friday. He said: “And of course, I’m happy for Paco for scoring his first goal in his first game with a great left-footed strike. You can see that he understands football well and that he links up well with the team. You saw that also in how he instigated our second goal.”