By 90Min
December 10, 2017

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has provided fitness updates on Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha, having spoken at a press conference ahead of the Catalan side's upcoming away match against Villarreal.

Dembele, who joined from Borussia Dortmund during the summer, was quite unfortunate to get sidelined with a thigh injury in September while playing against Getafe.

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The Frenchman came in as a replacement for Neymar, but was only able to make three appearances for the Spanish outfit before the untimely circumstance.

Rafinha, meanwhile, hasn't played for Barca since April, when he suffered an injury to his internal meniscus. And Valverde indicated that he isn't quite ready to make his return.

"In the case of Rafinha, he has not been able to do a workout," Valverde said to reporters on Saturday. 

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"Yesterday was the first time he went out to work with the group, I'm looking forward to seeing him train, I've only seen him as an opponent, we want him to help us. 


"About Dembélé He has returned to work with us, we will not take risks."

The coach also refused to rule out a move for Javier Mascherano, who has cast some serious doubt over his future at the club after expressing dissatisfaction as it relates to playing time.

"The market has not yet arrived, it is true that issues are emerging that have to be faced, at the moment," he declared. "Mascherano is with us and whenever he has played he has done it at a good level, if he comes out, we will consider alternatives.

"He is a veteran player that everyone respects, that's what everybody sees, there are players who are referents in the dressing room, and he is one of them."

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