Valverde talks Paulinho, Neymar, Martinez and Messi ahead of El Clasico


Ernesto Valverde faced the press on Saturday ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Real Madrid and answered questions on a whole range of topics.

Unsurprisingly, Valverde was asked about today’s news that Barca are set to sign Paulinho and was pretty coy about the whole thing.

Here are the best bits…

On Paulinho, Inigo Martinez and Sergi Roberto

“I don’t know anything about Paulinho. He will not play tomorrow. He’s with his team.

“Until August 31 there is time, but there is nothing or I have not heard.

“Sergi Roberto is a very important player for us.

“Iñigo Martínez? He is not a personal request. It’s a club matter. We’ll see what happens.

On transfers and the transfer market

“The market rises every year, we are used to it, it’s how the world is, €30m seemed a lot a few years ago and is now run of the mill.

“We are talking that it was unthinkable that you can pay €200m, but now that’s happening so we need to get used to that. It seems strange but that’s football these days.

On Neymar

“He came to the office to talk to me, to tell me that he accepted the PSG offer, it was the day he communicated it to everyone.

“It has been talked about, some players had commented, but for sure I did not know before then.

“Neymar is a great player, but there are also others who want to prove things. We are not looking back, but forward.”

On the team and Lionel Messi

“Messi is looking good, very focused. He is having a great preseason and we hope to see him at his best tomorrow.

“What matters the most is the style, not the scheme. This is where we have to be stronger, whether we play with three defenders or four or five.”



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