'These are questions for other clubs' – Valverde refuses to discuss Barca links to PSG's Rabiot

The midfielder intends to run down his current contract but the manager would not confirm Barcelona’s interest

Ernesto Valverde would not be drawn on reports Barcelona are planning to move for Paris Saint-Germain’s wantaway midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The France international, who declined a place on the Les Bleus standby list for the World Cup, has pulled out of contract talks with the Ligue 1 champions and looks set to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season.

PSG sporting director Antero Henrique said the 23-year-old was “indefinitely benched” after the breakdown in negotiations and suggested Barca had made a “disrespectful proposal” for Rabiot.

The midfielder’s agent and mother Veronique said there was “no going back” while denying being in contact with any other club and stating he was “buying his freedom” by refusing to renew.

Barca have already made one signing, with Jeison Murillo joining on loan from Valencia until the end of the season, but Valverde indicated the club will not do more business in the January window.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Saturday’s LaLiga game at home to Celta Vigo, Barca’s last match of 2018, Valverde opted not to discuss Rabiot.

“These are questions for other clubs,” Valverde told reporters on Friday when asked about the PSG star.

“We don’t tend to poke our noses where they don’t belong, we have enough to worry about without worrying about other clubs.

“I’d rather not comment for that reason, it’s not up to me to talk about that player and that club.”

Valverde was also asked about reports Barca were interested in signing Rodrigo Caio from Sao Paulo.

“I don’t know much about him to be honest,” he added. “If people spoke about him, they spoke about a lot of other centre-backs. He plays for Sao Paulo but I don’t know a lot about him to be honest.”

Barca, who have drawn their last two LaLiga games with Celta 2-2, go into the weekend three points clear at the top of the table, with Valverde determined for the reigning champions to maintain that position.

“It’s a tricky game for many reasons, the opponents are a team that tend to play very well against Barca – we didn’t beat them at home last year,” he added.

“As a club they have great players, [Iago] Aspas and Maxi Gomez. It’s important as it’s the last of the year and we want to maintain our lead in the league.

“It’s nice to give our fans a nice Christmas and New Year present to go off on a happy note. It’s nice to go into Christmas on a high note but we know it’s going to be a difficult game.”

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