Barcelona face Celta Vigo at Balaidos on Saturday night, but Quique Setien had to deal with a series of questions about Arthur Melo.
The Brazilian is seemingly very close to joining Juventus, yet the Barcelona boss still has the 23-year-old in his plans.
“In principle I’m counting on him,” Setien said of Arthur.
“He’s going to travel [to Vigo] and has a chance to play tomorrow.
“The important thing is that this does not affect him and that, if he plays, he is at his best.”
In spite of the overwhelming reports about Arthur departing, the coach hasn’t received any news from those upstairs at the club.
“I don’t take that for granted,” Setien stated.
“The club haven’t informed me that he’s leaving.
“And even if it has already happened, he’s going to stay with us until the final training session [of the season].
“If that happens, I’ll try to convince him that he should leave a good memory.
“The most important thing is to be honest until the last day and I’m convinced that he is.”
Given how Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig positively impacted Barcelona’s 1-0 win against Athletic Club on Tuesday, there are more and more calls from supporters for the two La Masia products to play more.
“I don’t pay much attention to everything that is said and talked about because there are so many opinions and so varied, that few people agree on,” Setien said.
“I usually listen, but there are other issues that influence me more when it comes to deciding.
“They are objective questions about what I see and believe.”
Real Madrid are the favourites in the race to lift LaLiga Santander as, despite being level on points with Barcelona, they have the head-to-head advantage.
“I still believe it’s possible,” Setien commented.
“It’s hard for both of us to win everything.
“They’re in a good place in lots of things – so are we.
“I hope they make a mistake and we catch them.”
Barcelona will come up against Rafinha Alcantara on Saturday, who is on loan at Celta until the end of this season, and Setien is a fan.
“He’s playing very well, at a great level, just like his team,” he said.
“As soon as the team lifted its spirit, each player began to show what they are capable of.
“There are players at Celta that I like a lot.
“When they link up, it immediately affects the team’s performance.”
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