Barcelona boss Quique Setien says he enjoys”all good players” amid links of a move for Valencia striker Rodrigo.
The LaLiga leaders are in the market for a new striker after Luis Suarez was ruled out for nearly all the campaign after surgery on his knee.
Barca has been connected with many players since Suarez went under the knife on January 11, including Chimy Avila, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Timo Werner.
Rodrigo is just another rumored target and Setien waxed lyrical over the Spain international, who has been nursing a knee injury of his own over the past few weeks.
Asked specifically about Rodrigo at his pre-match news conference before the weekend’s league clash with Valencia in Mestalla, Setien said:”I like all good players.
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“He is an extraordinary footballer and tomorrow he could give us troubles — he is an integral player for his or her team.
“I would have preferred if he was not playing, but we know that if he’s not there then there’s another player. Valencia has a great squad with or without Rodrigo.”
Barca was given a real scare by the minnows, requiring a last-minute goal from Antoine Griezmann to secure a comeback success and a last-16 tie against Leganes.
And after dominating the possession count in the wins over Granada and Ibiza, Setien confessed it would have counted for little had his side not picked up the victories.
“I had a massive jolt in Ibiza,” he said. “I am not going to lie, this is apparent. We must stress a lot the things that we provide high value to. In theory, this shouldn’t take us long.
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“But generally I already know that lots of people only care about results. Those will only care to win, not how we play. This is like this in the current football and its fine to me.
“I feel that the way [you play] ought to be appreciated too, how you get to the success or the way you lose. That seems like the perfect way to look at things, despite the fact that I could understand that some people only care about the results.”
Barca is level on points with Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga before the meeting with Valencia, who are seventh in the table after losing 4-1 at Real Mallorca last time out in the league.
Setien is wary of a response from Albert Celades’ side, however, including:”When a team like Valencia loses their previous game, the urge to break this series is a motivation. As I always say and repeat, I always expect the best version of our rivals.
“Valencia is an excellent group, without a doubt, with really good footballers. They’ll make things hard for us and it will be truly a match of a terrific level.
“Our capacity to harm them may be bigger because they’re a team with the ability to attack. Surely they will try so we will make the most of these spaces. We’ll probably have more spaces than in the past two matches.”