Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic Getty

Ivan Rakitic believes that Barcelona are proving that they do not need new signings in January but the Croatian international admits that Arsenal's Mesut Ozil or other players would be "welcomed" if the board decide that Ernesto Valverde's squad needs to be bolstered ahead of the second half of the season.

The Catalan side have enjoyed an impressive start to their first campaign since Valverde succeeded Luis Enrique.

Rakitic and co sit comfortably top of the La Liga table having secured 34 points from their opening 12 games, four points ahead of Valencia and 10 clear of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona also remain unbeaten in the Champions League and need only a point from their clash with Juventus on Wednesday night (22 November) to book a place in the last 16 as group winners.

However, earlier this week president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that the club will still try to improve Valverde's squad during the upcoming January transfer window following their unsuccessful summer attempt to bring in Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.

"We are happy with the squad that we have but if things can be done to improve then they will be done, because we always aspire to more," Bartomeu said.

Questioned whether he agrees with the Barcelona president during a press conference ahead of the trip to Juventus, Rakitic said: "Well, I think that at the moment we are not doing badly. So, honestly I trust 100% in my teammates.

"We have not only done well in five games. We are playing a very high level, overcoming very difficult games. We'll see what happens in January and also at the end of the season but we aim to win everything, to win every game and be at the very top at the end of the season. "

Coutinho is said to remain as Barcelona's top priority for January. However, in recent days Ozil has emerged as a potential cheaper alternative to the Liverpool playmaker.

The German international is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season and Mundo Deportivo reports that Arsenal would be ready to let him go for only €20m (£17.8m, $23.5m) in order to avoid losing him for free in the summer.

Rakitic already played alongside Ozil during his early days at Schalke, but would arguably see his playing time at Barcelona restricted if the Arsenal playmaker made the move to the Nou Camp.

Pressed whether he would like to reunite with the German star, Rakitic added: "We welcome every player and every player who is signed by Barcelona is very good. The manager and the president will know what is best for the group.

"But what I can say is that I trust 100% in my teammates. If someone comes they would be welcomed. We will fight for the same target, for winning as many titles as possible. And, for my part, I have to do my job and work every day to help my colleagues and the club. If someone comes, then perfect. We will have one more for the fight but if not we are going to try to achieve the targets."

Meanwhile, Rakitic is confident that Lionel Messi will continue at the Nou Camp for the long-term despite concerns over the delay in signing a new deal.

Barcelona announced in July that they had reached an agreement with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner through 2021, but the Argentina international is yet to put pen to paper on the contract.

"I can't say 100 percent if he will stay or not. That's his decision and you have to respect what each person thinks or does. As recently Neymar did and we have to respect that," Rakitic said.

"We know the fans want to see the picture, the handshake and I do, too. I want to play with Leo tomorrow, three years, five years in the future. The only thing we can say as teammates is that we want him to stay, he has all our support and we enjoy being with him.

"I can say I see him the same as always. We haven't spoke about it, but we're confident [he will stay]. Leo's part of the badge. He has to be here. I am confident he will. He is not just a very important player, he is more than that, looking at his career, how much he means for Barca.

"From what I have read and been told, things are going well. I have confidence in the president and in Leo and I know he wants to be with us."