Ernesto Valverde excited by Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi partnership

FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has spoken of his anticipation at Antoine Griezmann linking up with Lionel Messi.

Griezmann, who completed his controversial €120m move from Atletico Madrid earlier this month, has joined up with the squad on their pre-season tour of Japan, however Messi did not travel after the club granted him an additional break following the Copa America.

Messi, and team mate Luis Suarez are expected back in full training at the start of August, and Valverde is confident that the trio will strike up an immediate bond.

"Good players tend to understand each other quickly on the pitch.

"We will wait and see, but I have high hopes."

The former Athletic Bilbao boss also praised Ousmane Dembele, and Carles Perez, after his two goals secured their first pre-season win over Vissel Kobe.

"Dembele has been very involved in the game today.

"I am hopeful that this can translate into goals for him this season, because he has the capability to do so.

"Perez will gain confidence from today, and it so pleasing to see the young players performing well."

Tags Antoine Griezmann Ernesto Valverde FC Barcelona Lionel Messi