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Valverde: Let's hope Barcelona don't sign Aduriz

Ernesto Valverde has suggested the form of Aritz Aduriz is good enough to tempt Barcelona to make an offer for the Athletic Bilbao striker.

Aduriz scored all three goals as Athletic won 3-0 away to Rayo Vallecano to take his tally for the season to 20 in all competitions - more than Luis Suarez, Neymar or Lionel Messi have managed this term.

The veteran striker signed a new deal at San Mames in October and Valverde hopes to see the 34-year-old stay at the club for as long as possible.

"We have to hope that Barcelona don't sign Aduriz, as he represents the culmination of the way we play, or at least the way we aim for," he said after Sunday's match. "We are very fortunate to have him in the team.

"For every year that passes he gets better. He has great belief in his ability, provides a fantastic outlet and is a treasure for us."