Speaking at Barcelona's Joan Gamper training ground the former Athletic Bilbao boss was asked what it felt like to be coaching Messi.
"It's a feeling of relief (to have Messi)". When you are in the opposite dug-out you have to try to stop him and you never have enough players on the pitch to do that.
"They are two players in my time and, of course, I am counting on them", Valverde said.More news: Jordanian soldier convicted of killing three Green Berets
"I came here to play with Marco Verratti, that's the message I want him to get". Obviously we've had discussions but to ask for "this player", no. It's very hard to make it better, because of the high standard of players that we have.
"I don't know if this is the past year for Andres, I can't predict the future, but my intention is to make him feel happy in the team and that he participates and contributes", Valverde said in a news conference, addressing the media for the first time since his appointment on June 1.
But MailSport understands Rakitic, who has only recently signed a contract extension and found a new house in Barcelona, has no intention of being part of any exchange and the club are also not in favour of gaining one midfielder only to lose another.
Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez does not expect Neymar to leave the club and insists that there are no offers on the table for the Brazilian. Fernadez replied: "I don't think that is going to happen". "Whoever comes here has to be a big player", he said.