Ernesto Valverde asserts “Barcelona don’t want any more scares” after shock links surfaced between Lionel Messi and Manchester City.
Reports in France on Sunday sensationally suggested City were ready to pay Messi’s €300m release clause, but Valverde stressed Neymar would be Barca’s only high-profile sale of the summer.
“We struggled at first because they were well organised at the back,” the Coach said after the Catalans’ 2-0 win against Real Betis in La Liga.
“It was about opening the can to make the match more open. We did that well and we pressed.
“We dropped off in the second half because we had no need to keep pressing.
“You always think Messi will score, but today he didn’t. Still, I’d rather have [his goals] reserved for later.
“We know that when he has the ball, something magical happens.
“Transfers? Until the market shuts, the rumours won’t stop. We’ve had enough scares this summer and we don’t want any more of them…
“Barcelona attacks? It’s been tough for everyone, the public in general. The day after the attacks was strange. The people were silent, but then, to some extent, you move forward.
“Our idea was to dedicate this game to those people and maintain a good feeling of playing football and exciting [the fans].”