Ernesto Valverde has claimed that he has not asked the Barcelona hierarchy to make any specific signings during the summer transfer window and maintains he is happy with his current squad. The new manager has leapt to the defence of Andre Gomes and Ivan Rakitic despite recent reports claiming that the La Liga giants could part ways with both midfielders in order to fund the signings of Marco Verratti and Paulinho.
Valverde has already welcomed the arrivals of Nelson Semedo and Gerard Deulofeu ahead of his first season at the Nou Camp.
It has been widely reported that the former Athletic Club Bilbao boss has earmarked the signings of Verratti and Paulinho as his next two signings to complete his summer overhaul.
However, Valverde has now claimed that his mind is set in making the most out of his current squad rather than in the transfer window.
"I don't think about whether we can bring in a player. Then, if it happens, I will be glad. The club work to build the best squad but my idea is to work with what I have here," Valverde said in a press conference when asked whether he still hopes Barcelona to sign Verratti before the end of the transfer window.
"The communication with the board is fluid and names are coming up. But I have not asked for any particular player. We look at different possibilities but for me the best signings are the ones that are already in my team. That is what I value, because they're the good ones. It's not easy to improve what we have here. I am very happy with the players I have. I don't focus so much on the players who are not here as much as the ones that we already have."
The potential arrival of Verratti and Paulinho to the Nou Camp will create even more competition for places in Valverde's midfield ahead of the new season. Barcelona are already well-covered in this position with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Denis Suarez, Rafinha, Arda Turan, Sergi Roberto, Sergi Samper, Rakitic and Gomes.
Reports in Spain have claimed that Barcelona are ready to cash in on Rakitic and Gomes in order to make space for the new additions. However, Valverde said that both midfielders also remain in his plans.
"They are two players in my time and, of course, I am counting on them. I want to know them and see them in action" Valverde assured.
"We still have time to make decision until the end of the market. The idea is to have a squad ready for all the competitions. We also have to take into account the injuries. I do not contemplate having 25 midfielders and no centre-backs but a balance squad."