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Ernesto Valverde talks Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Real Mallorca

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde faced the press on Friday ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga clash against Real Mallorca on Saturday at the Camp Nou.

The Barcelona boss talked about Real Mallorca, Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic and the possibility of some of his midfielders leaving in the January transfer window.

Here are the best bits:

Valverde on Real Mallorca

They just came up this season. They are playing very well at home. They have a positive attitude on the field with pressure and their general play and I think they will come here and make it difficult for us and try to take something positive away. I think they’re going to do what got them promoted in the first place.

Valverde on Messi talking retirement

No it seemed totally natural, normal. He’s 32 I don’t think he’s going to retire tomorrow but it’s something that’s there. When players pass 30 they are closer to retirement than when they begin. But people have made too much of it. It’s something that heppens to every player. But it’s not going to be now or in three days time.

Valverde on Rakitic

He’s a very reliable player. When he was not featuring, he kept training hard to seize his opportunity. We had a couple of big games last week, he played well and we’re happy with that. We’ll see what happens in the coming games.

Valverde on Jordi Alba and Nelson Semedo

Jordi Alba hasn’t been able to train with the group. It depends on whether they [Alba and Semedo] take part in training today. We’re not going to risk anything.

Valverde on coaching Messi

Yes you are conscious of it (the privilege) but in the day to day you don’t have the chance to enjoy it fully. With the passing of time i think you’ll be able to appreciate it more. Yes I’m lucky, I’m fortunate that I’ll be able to say in the future I coached Leo. Like people talk about Di Stefano in the past, but we’ll be able to say we were the coaches in the Messi era and we enjoyed it.

Valverde on Pique’s knee

It was just a knock. He’s fine.

Valverde on midfielders possibly leaving

We’ll see when the transfer window opens. We have to look at the possibilities that we have and what is coming up for us. January is usually a big month for us. I’ve always said we have a lot of midfielders, we have a lot of options, some have played more, some less, but they have all been necessary. We’ll look at that in the winter and see how it works out for the team.

Valverde on Arturo Vidal

There’s a lot of information that comes out. Vidal is our player we are happy with him, and that’s it. Tomorrow there’s a match, he could play, he might not. When the transfer window comes we’ll see.

Valverde on Suarez talking about signing a No.9

Luis is 32, just like Leo, and he’s also talking about hypothetical situations in the future. It’s clear that when players leave we need to get new players. We have to continually renew the team. And in that sense it’s true.