Ernesto Valverde insists Barcelona don't need to sign a new centre-back during the January transfer window but the Spanish boss remains opens about the possibility of bolstering other areas once the market reopens.

The La Liga leaders have four players to cover the heart of the defence in the form of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen.

Valverde recently said that he won't ask Barcelona to strengthen the position further in January unless any of his current defenders depart or suffer a long-term injury.

However, it has been said in recent days that the manager may need to change his plans after Javier Mascherano returned from international duty with a hamstring injury which is expected to keep him on the sidelines for around four weeks.

Vermaelen has also been plagued by numerous fitness issues over recent years and is yet to play a La Liga game since returning in the summer from a disastrous loan spell at AS Roma.

The situation could get even worse as both Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti will be suspended for the trip to La Liga second-placed Valencia if they pick up a yellow card when Barcelona visit Leganes on Saturday [18 November].

Barcelona have the option to sign Yerry Mina from Palmeiras to address the situation and have also been linked with other centre-backs like Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt, Bayer Leverkusen Jonathan Tah and RB Leipzig starlet Dayout Upamecano.

But the Barcelona boss insists that he is happy with his current options, pointing out that he could also turn his attention to the second team in case of emergency.

"We have great centre halves, you can never predict what will happen, there are always injuries when you least expect and that's why we have a strong squad," Valverde said in the press conference ahead of the visit to Leganes on Saturday (18 November).

"I recently said that with four centre-backs we are fine. [Mascherano injury] It is a circumstance. We have to be honest and know that a squad with top four centre-backs is well covered. We also have the B team who are playing in the second division. If there is a setback during the season we will find a solution.

The Catalans have also been tipped to make a new attempt to sign Philippe Coutinho following their unsuccessful attempts to lure the Brazilian away from Liverpool during the summer.

It has been said that Barcelona are also monitoring other alternatives like Arsenal's Mesut Ozil or Lyon sensation Nabil Fekir in case Liverpool don't soft their stance.

Valverde didn't addressed the specific pursuit of the Liverpool ace or other targets but admits that he remains open over the possibility of making additions to his squad ahead of the second part of the season.

"The club are always open to all kinds of possibilities. Not only Barcelona. Any club in the world are open to the possibility of improving its squads. We value high what we have but we are not going to close doors," Valverde admitted.

"[Rumours are normal when there are] fifteen days without football, without games, you have more time to talk about arrivals and departures. I'm relaxed we just focus on the league. I just hope that we don't broadcast on TV or radio the possible interest in new players."

Meanwhile, earlier this week Mundo Deportivo reported that the Catalans have reached an agreement in principle with Antoine Griezmann ahead of luring him to the Nou Camp in the summer by meeting his €100m (£89.2m, $117.9m) release clause.

Valverde hailed the 26-year-old forward as a "great player" but was coy about the possibility about those reports.

"I say the same that I said before. He is a great player. Every player linked with Barcelona are good players but I am happy with my current players. In the future we will see," the Barcelona boss concluded.