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Ernesto Valverde Offers Lionel Messi Injury Update & Laments Spanish Transfer Window

Ernesto Valverde Offers Lionel Messi Injury Update & Laments Spanish Transfer Window

'We are not going to take risks and less so with Leo, ' Valverde said in a press conference reported by Marca.

Barcelona are hence yet to make a final decision on the proposed deal, according to the Spanish news agency.

Elsewhere, Barca have no other injury concerns ahead of Friday's curtain-raiser in the Basque Country.

The corresponding fixture last season ended in a drab goalless draw, with Barcelona managing to muster up just two shots on target.

Just because Messi isn't as physically strong and can't jump as high as his rival, it doesn't mean that he just vegetates in his garden playing keepie-uppies.

Ousmane Dembele is in a similar position of needing to reset after a disappointing end to last season.

Valverde was then asked about the ongoing transfer saga involving Neymar, but the Spaniard refused to get into it, instead using the question as an opportunity to bemoan the fact that the window is still open at all. At 22, he arrives after a breakout campaign with Ajax, which made it to the Champions League semifinals after upsetting both Real Madrid and Juventus.

Messi's participation in the Copa America meant he wasn't cited to return to training until early August, but his pre-season preparations were quickly scuppered.

Jugador del Año de la UEFA: Messi, Ronaldo o Van Dijk
Cada uno de ellos eligió una lista de tres futbolistas y tuvo que asignara a cada uno una puntuación de cinco, tres y uno . Descubre más de su temporada aquí .

Ter Stegen will be starting between the sticks.

"He hasn't trained yet with the team".

Frenkie de Jong and Jean-Clair Todibo have returned to training ahead of the new season, but Messi was not with his team-mates on Thursday having worked separately with the fitness coach earlier in the week.

Nelson Semedo has been among those mentioned as possible makeweights, along with Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic.

The talismanic Antoine Griezmann has gone and so too have several long-serving members of Diego Simeone's formidable defence, most noticeably Diego Godin.

The key man for Barcelona. "It's really difficult to repeat winning La Liga in April, though". Antoine Griezmann will also make his official debut, and will hope to find the back of the net.

With Lionel Messi missing, this should be a close game, wherein Athletic Bilbao might even fancy a shock win.

"We had some excellent games last season, some not so good, but if I look back over my two years we've lost four league games, I think, mostly when we've already won the title, so I think we're doing a lot of things right". Bilbao also managed to hold Barcelona to a draw in this stretch of solid form at San Mames.