Rabiot & De Jong rumours annoy Rivaldo as Barcelona ignore La Masia

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Barcelona legend Rivaldo has questioned the club’s ongoing snub of La Masia academy graduates in favour of pursuing players like Adrien Rabiot and Frenkie de Jong.

The Liga champions were once famed for their production of home-grown talent.

During an era of unprecedented success under Pep Guardiola, a star-studded side included the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Carles Puyol and Xavi within its ranks.

Those numbers have dwindled down the years, with few youngsters now being given the chance to stake a claim for regular minutes in the senior side.

Rivaldo hopes that approach will change in the near future, telling Spanish publication Sport: “They've always talked about players like Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol, but they have left the club.

“Since then we have not seen new players of quality coming from La Masia.”

Barcelona have already made one move in the winter market, with Colombian defender Jeison Murillo taken on loan from domestic rivals Valencia.

Further additions are being mooted, either in the current window or the summer, with several targets in the frame.

Frenkie de Jong Ajax

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Rabiot, who will be available on a free at the end of the season, and Ajax’s highly-rated 21-year-old Netherlands international De Jong are considered to be two potential additions at Camp Nou.

Rivaldo is not convinced that such approaches should be made, with greater emphasis needing to be placed on bringing youngsters through.

He added: “[Barca] should look more at La Masia and less outside the club.

“Murillo arrived, they're talking about Rabiot and De Jong... in my opinion the club doesn't need to reinforce from outside.

“They have an excellent structure and should focus on moving through new young talents.”

Ernesto Valverde Barcelona

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Ernesto Valverde has faced questions of his future as he endeavours to deliver under pressure and his deal runs down, but Rivaldo does not expect a managerial change to be made any time soon.

The Brazilian World Cup winner said: “The results will determine his future.

“The team is working and is a firm candidate for the trophies. That said, if they fail in the Champions League again, doubts appear.

“Valverde has no reason not to be happy in a job that is the dream for any coach. To talk about replacements for him now is a waste of time.”