X

Ernesto Valverde Not Expecting Barcelona Transfers in January

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18:  Ernesto Valverde, Manager of Barcelona looks on during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on December 18, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde doesn't expect his squad to change during the January transfer window, amid rumours regarding Arturo Vidal and Jean-Clair Todibo. 

Per Goal's Liam Blackburn, both have been linked with a mid-season exit, but Valverde doesn't think it will happen: "I'm really happy with the players I've got. I don't expect any modifications."

Per Sport, Manchester United have joined the queue of clubs interested in Todibo, a list that also includes Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan, Everton and Southampton:

SPORT English @Sport_EN

Man United join list of Todibo suitors https://t.co/D2bIemcjax

Speculation regarding Vidal went into overdrive after he failed to make the starting XI for the Clasico match against Real Madrid, something he reportedly did not take well:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Arturo Vidal stormed out of Barcelona training on Tuesday after learning he would not start against Real Madrid, sources have told ESPN. Several players tried to comfort Vidal, but he could not be calmed down. https://t.co/088khmqwMM

Todibo, in particular, seemed likely to be on the move in January. The 19-year-old has barely seen the pitch this season, flashing his tremendous talent in the Champions League win over Inter Milan and appearing in two more La Liga matches.

He's a tremendous prospect stuck behind Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique in the pecking order, and he needs playing time to develop. A loan move or a transfer with a buyback clause could be a solution, but that would leave the Catalans short on depth at the centre-back position.

Luca Bruno/Associated Press

Vidal has played a bigger role this season, but the bulk of his appearances have come off the bench. He's made three starts in La Liga so far, as well as two in the Champions League, and was another standout against Inter.

Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Arthur have been the preferred midfield starters when healthy, and Ivan Rakitic has also seen more playing time than the Chilean. Vidal appears more expendable than Todibo, with youngsters Carles Alena and Riqui Puig adding depth to the squad.

Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Valverde also touched on the 0-0 draw against Real and subsequent controversy, which saw Los Blancos complain of injustice in the officiating. The coach opted not to get involved:

"People will always be talking after Clasicos; this was one where we had a two-month build up to it and the post-Clasico debates will always be intense.

"Some people play football on the pitch, some are in the press room, we've all got to eat! That's what our jobs are.

"I really don't like getting involved in these discussions, there's nothing to be gained. Controversies are always going to be part of football."

Per Goal's Matt Dorman, Real released an official statement after the match, complaining about being denied two penalties. Barcelona also expressed their frustration with the VAR after the 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad.