Ernesto Valverde has admitted Barcelona will try to improve their squad during the January transfer window amid speculation linking the La Liga leaders with both Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho and Palmeiras centre-back Yerry Mina.

Coutinho was poised to move to the Nou Camp during the summer but Barcelona had to abandon the pursuit on deadline day due to Liverpool's high demands.

In October, club CEO Oscar Grau suggested that the Catalans will make a new effort to sign the Liverpool playmaker in January if Valverde considers his addition a priority.

And that speculation intensified over the weekend after Nike appeared to announce the Brazilian's move to the Nou Camp could be imminent, urging fans to purchase his Barcelona shirt in an advert on their official online store.

Mina has also emerged as a January target for the La Liga leaders amid the expected departure of Javier Mascherano to the Chinese Super League.

Valverde has failed to give an update over specific pursuits but the Spanish manager did admit that the Catalans will try to improve his squad ahead of the second half of the season.

"I have always said that I am happy with the players we have, they're the best. Vermaelen is a good example. It seemed that we were looking for a replacement before seeing him play," Valverde said during an interview with Barcelona's official website.

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

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

Meanwhile, Valverde also expects to be boosted soon by the long-awaited return of Ousmane Dembele.

The 20-year-old winger moved to the Nou Camp in the final days of the summer transfer window with the hopes of filling the gap left by Neymar's departure to Paris Saint Germain.

However, the club record signing has been out of action since suffering a serious muscle injury during the Catalans' 2-1 victory over Getafe on 16 September.

But Valverde admitted that Barcelona fans will see him back in action soon amid suggestions that the Frenchman could even play some minutes in the upcoming Copa del Rey clash with Celta Vigo on Thursday [4 January].

"Yes," the Barcelona boss said when asked whether Dembele will be back soon.

"Any Barça player is a different player. Dembélé's profile was different to anything we had. He is able to play in various positions and is very fast. We have a big squad, we've made good replacements up to now, and now he's coming back. It's great news."

"At the time, it was a tough blow to take, especially for him, because he's a very young player and also the tension of the transfer could've influenced the injury."