"Asking about Neymar? This never stops does it?" - Valverde
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Thursday Barca had been found guilty of violating article 126 of its disciplinary code during their pursuit of the Frenchman while he was at Atletico Madrid. Barca signed Griezmann in July for €120million but Atletico claimed they were owed a further €80m, alleging an agreement between the player and LaLiga's champions being reached before his release clause dropped from €200m. A symbolic monetary penalty was imposed by the RFEF, while Griezmann escaped without sanction. However, Barca are appealing against the fine.
"I don't know the exact ins and outs of this question or how it stands legally," Valverde told a news conference. "I understand the club is appealing."
It has been a busy week off the field for Barca, with Friday seeing the Catalan giants in court with former star Neymar, who alleges he is owed a loyalty bonus from his time at the club. Neymar was strongly linked with a return to Barca in the close season and reports suggested the Brazil forward was willing to drop the case if the club promised to re-sign him.
"This never stops does it? In August we were waiting for the transfer market to close, but the Neymar matter continues," Valverde added. "I've got nothing to say, it's an internal club issue and for the player on a contractual matter, it's not my concern. Has there been a press conference without Neymar's name being brought up? Let's try to do it once this season."
September 27, 2019
Neymar's Brazil team-mate Arthur was seen having dinner with the Paris Saint-Germain forward this week. Last season the midfielder was criticised for travelling to Paris to attend Neymar's birthday shortly before Barcelona's Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid.
"I think Arthur learned a lot last season, one of those things was what you're talking about," Valverde added. "I think he's fine at the moment and hope things stay this way. It's not up to me to evaluate further than him going out for dinner with a friend. He's fine and I hope he stays that way for the rest of the season."
Valverde then spoke about Leo Messi's injury. "I don't know how long he could be out for, We hope he will soon be back with us as it's not serious. He's a decisive player for us, but we have the resources to manage if he is not there."
The Barca coach also denied that Luis Suarez was going through a bad patch. "He's played only a few games for the team and he needs to get back to his best like the rest. Now he's got no margin for error as he has to do it as the game's go on. A bit similar to Dembele or Messi. Like all goalscorers, when he scores, he gets many in a short period of time."
Barca travel to Getafe on Saturday where they will be looking to get their first away win of the season.