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Roberto and Samper in Valverde's future Barca plans

Amid talk of both Sergi Roberto and Sergi Samper leaving Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde has insisted he aims to keep the pair.

SergiRoberto-Cropped
Sergi Roberto celebrates for Barcelona

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is aiming to keep both Sergi Roberto and Sergi Samper at the club, even if the latter may first have to head out on loan.

The pair have been linked with moves away from Camp Nou in recent days, but Valverde addressed the future of both players in his pre-match news conference ahead of the Supercopa de Espana second leg against Real Madrid.

While the coach insisted Roberto has a part to play for Barca under his stewardship, he acknowledged that he has discussed with Samper - reportedly set for another loan spell - where he might head next.

"It's true that I've talked to [Samper]," he said. "He came back from a loan [at Granada] in which he did not play the minutes that he or the club wanted.

"Here, he'll have less minutes. I spoke about the idea of ??him progressing to be a major player in the future.

"[Roberto] is an important player for our team. He is a player I absolutely count on.

"[Whether he starts] depends on the match. He was important last season and he will be now. He is versatile and can play in many positions."

Barca's options have been boosted by the arrival of Paulinho, who Valverde believes will offer something different to the rest of the squad.

"[Paulinho] is an important player in Brazil - a strong player who can help us from another perspective," he added. "There is no player like him in the team."

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