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Valverde talks Mascherano future, Sporting, injuries and centre-backs ahead of Champions League clash

The boss has given his thoughts on the latest issues

FC Barcelona Press Conference Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

It’s that time of the week when Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde gives us his thoughts and it was all about centre-backs in the wake of Samuel Umtiti’s injury.

Valverde was pretty coy about his line-up for tomorrow but it seems he will make some changes for the visit of Sporting, who will be taking this game very seriously.

He was also asked about winter signings and Yerry Mina but said he didn’t want to talk about players at other clubs.

Here are the best bits from today’s press conference...

Valverde on rotating against Sporting

“We have nothing to play for as far as qualification is concerned. We are also top of the group. So we are very happy, but it's still a game, with an opponent who has a lot to play for, they have to win.

“So it will be a difficult game. And this is still a Champions League game, we have a responsibility to put on a good show for our fans.

“It's our intention to go out and win regardless of the position in the group.”

Valverde on Mascherano’s future

“We are happy with Mascherano, we are counting on him as a member of the team and he is a player who is absolutely committed to Barca and has been for a long, long time.

“We are very happy with Mascherano we want him to be here with us, I have no concerns about him at the moment.”

Valverde on injuries

“That's the way it goes, but whenever players have been out of action and players have come in they have always responded and I'm sure the players who come in and cover will do a good job.”

Valverde on possibly signing a centre-back

“We've got December to think about these things. But Samuel Umtiti is not a long-term injury and by January who should hopefully be coming back.

“But we have some injury problems so we might have to think about it. We've got a lot more analysis to do yet.

Valverde on other centre-back options

“[Sergio] Busquets has played there sometimes, [Lucas] Digne has done so as well. We will have to find an answer there's no doubt about that.”

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