Ernesto Valverde has been coy about Barcelona's plans to replace Javier Mascherano after refusing to confirm that the Argentina international is set to join Hebei China Fortune.

The former Liverpool star himself suggested last month that he wanted to leave the Nou Camp during the January transfer window in order to secure more regular time to increase his chances of playing in the World Cup.

It has since been said that Barcelona have already agreed a €10m deal to sell him to Hebei China Fortune with the club only waiting for Valverde to have Samuel Umtiti back from injury to make the agreement official.

Palmeiras centre-back Yerry Mina has been tipped to replace Mascherano at the Nou Camp with Mundo Deportivo claiming that the Colombian international plan to land in Spain in the coming hours to be unveiled as a new Barcelona player on Thursday [11 January].

Yet, there have been suggestions that Valverde is keen to add another extra centre-back with experienced in Europe amid concerns on Mina's adaptation to the Spanish football.

Chelsea star David Luiz and Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij have eventually touted as potential candidates to join Barcelona this month despite Valverde having Gerard Pique, Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen to cover the position.

But asked whether he will consider signing an experienced centre-back as well as Mina to fill the big shoes of the Argentina international, Valverde just replied: "Mascherano is still with us and we are yet to add a new centre-back [Mina]."

"We must not anticipate events. For the moment we are going ahead with the players we have in the coming games. There have not been any announcement from the club saying that centre-back is leaving [Mascherano] or that we are going to sign another one [Mina]. When it happens we will consider [if we need another one]."

Indeed Valverde said that Mascherano remains part of his plans ahead of the second leg of the Copa del Rey last 16 against Celta Vigo on Thursday night [11 January], with the Catalans in search for a victory at the Nou Camp following their 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture played last week.

The Barcelona boss also failed to add clarity to Arda Turan's situation amid suggestions in Turkey that the player could also complete his proposed move to Istanbul Basaksehir this week.

"No, I can not confirm Arda Turan will leave tomorrow or the following day. I don't know and it would good for the coach to do it before a match," the Barcelona boss said ahead of the Cup clash with Celta.

Javier Mascherano
Javier Mascherano is expected to join Hebei China Fortune this month. Getty

Meanwhile, Valverde was more convincing in defending Barcelona's decision to break the bank to sign Phillipe Coutinho from Liverpool following accusations the Catalans are turning their back on players from the academy.

"I don't think Barcelona's model has changed. It's the same as always. It's true that Barcelona have always went out and signed great players, with the best in the world having been here," Valverde said.

"At the same time, they've turned to the academy and have had players moulded in the club's style. Many unmatchable players have coincided with the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Here, a signing is made and there's a need to say something."