‘Barca have to step forward’ – Valverde keen to move on from Neymar and Madrid losses
Ernesto Valverde is determined to move on from the disappointment of losing Neymar and ensure Barcelona make the signings they need in the transfer market.
Barca lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a shock world-record €222million move and his absence was noticeable as Barca were humbled in a 5-1 Supercopa de Espana defeat to arch rivals Real Madrid.
Their misery was worsened by a hamstring injury to Luis Suarez in the second leg of that tie.
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However, Valverde says Barca have no time to wallow and is keen for the club to work on bulking up the squad, with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele the subject of reported rejected bids.
“Injuries can happen, as with Luis Suarez, and I understand that losing to a main rival and not winning a title can cause disappointment,” he told a pre-match news conference ahead of a Liga clash with Real Betis.
“But the loss of Neymar was something sudden and surprising. It makes us change our plans a bit. We must work in another direction to rearm ourselves.
“We have to step forward and not look back.”
Valverde: “I am at a great Club. I am excited to start the season as it is a great challenge” #FCBlive pic.twitter.com/pEfTAe0ysB
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 19, 2017
However, with talk in England of a change to the scheduling of the transfer window, Valverde too would have liked to have seen all moves concluded by now.
“I would like the transfer window to close as soon as possible and I would like to have a window in accordance with the requirements we have,” he added. “I cannot say more than that.
“Football has changed a lot. When I was a player, the window closed on July 15 and now it is not closed until the last minute. Players are signed and sold during the pre-season. It happens here and in other clubs.
“I would like to have the team at the beginning to work, work the systems, know what I have, but I know that, until August 31, it cannot be.
“It can happen that a team changes 11 players between the first day [of the season] and September 1.”