Ernesto Valverde has hinted that Barcelona will strengthen in the January transfer window, as reports continue to link the Spanish league leaders with several targets.

Despite the summer setback of losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record deal, Barcelona have enjoyed a great first half of the 2017/18 season and sit unbeaten, atop ​La Liga, fourteen points ahead of perennial rivals ​Real Madrid, while they are also nine clear of second-placed ​Atletico Madrid.

However, strong performances domestically and qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League have not dampened Barça's desire to improve, with the club linked strongly to several of Europe's biggest names.


Speaking in an interview with the club's official website, Valverde reaffirmed his satisfaction with the current squad, but implied reinforcements may be required.

"I have always said I am happy with the players we have - they're the best. [Thomas] Vermaelen is a good example: It seemed we were looking for a replacement before seeing him play.

"Regarding the January transfer window, obviously, we are who we are and we are open to becoming even better. We know we have to compete in order to be the best.

"In the same way other clubs worry about improving their squads, so do we to an extent. When that happens, we will make an announcement."

​Barcelona have been continually linked with ​Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho for months, and have not relented in their pursuit since the summer, while a recent Nike website blunder which stated the Brazilian is already a Barcelona player has since reignited rumours.


Meanwhile ​some reports have indicated that Coutinho may have played his last game for the Reds, and an offer in the region of £133m would prompt the Merseysiders to sell.