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Barcelona Prepare For Upcoming US Pre-Season Tour

Recent arrivals Arthur Melo and Clement Lenglet were put through their paces on Monday morning as Barcelona trained hard in advance of their US tour.

The duo both took part in the first of two sessions at sunny Ciutat Esportiva, with boss Ernesto Valverde stepping up the La Liga champions’ pre-season preparations still without many important first-team players.

Brazilian midfielder Arthur arrived in Catalonia earlier this month following a protracted £27.5million move from Gremio, while French centre-back Lenglet later joined from domestic rivals Sevilla for a fee of £32m.

Goalkeepers Jasper Cillessen and Adrian Ortola shared a joke during the session, which came two days before Barcelona are due to fly to the United States.

Rafinha and Paco Alcacer took part in individual exercises, while numbers were boosted by 10 players from Barcelona’s B team in Sergi Palencia, Oscar Mingueza, Jorge Cuenca, Juan Miranda, Monchu, Alex Collado, Riqui Puig, Abel Ruiz, Carles Perez and Chumi.

According to Per Sport, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets are expected to undergo medical tests on July 30 and 31 after their respective post-World Cup breaks, with Luis Suarez set to return on August 6.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Yerry Mina are also expected back next week, but those players who reached the final in Moscow – Samuel Umtiti, Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic – will not make their comebacks until the middle of next month.

Barcelona, due to train again on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, begin their International Champions Cup campaign against Tottenham in Pasadena, California next weekend.

They then meet Roma in Arlington, Texas before facing AC Milan at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Valverde’s side will travel to Morocco on August 12 to face Lenglet’s former team and losing Copa del Rey finalists Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup. It will be the first time that the match, now a one-legged affair, has ever been played overseas.

Boca Juniors provide the challenge in the 53rd edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy on August 15 and Barcelona will discover the identity of their first La Liga opponents when the fixture list for the 2018-19 campaign is officially released on Tuesday.

Last season, they fell agonisingly short in their quest to go a whole league campaign unbeaten but still set new records en route to winning the title with a 14-point buffer to nearest challengers Atletico Madrid.

They also became the first team to win four successive Copa del Rey titles for 85 years courtesy of a 5-0 thrashing of Sevilla.