Barcelona manager Luis Enrique remains open to making new additions during the January transfer window, even though club CEO Oscar Grau appeared to rule out that possibility earlier this week. Meanwhile, the boss asked for "calm" over Lionel Messi's contract following a week of a lot of controversial talks regarding the long-term future of the Argentina international at the Nou Camp.
Luis Enrique is said to be interested in bringing a new right-back to cover for Sergi Roberto after losing faith in Aleix Vidal.Vidal has been linked with a return to Sevilla in recent days while Barcelona are reportedly in negotiations to sign veteran Darijo Srna in a free-agent move from Shakhtar Donetsk as his replacement.
However, earlier this week club CEO Grau stated that Barcelona don't plan to sign anyone this window unless some members of Luis Enrique's current squad leave the Nou Camp.
But asked whether he also ruled out the possibility of making any signing before the end of the January window, the Barcelona boss said: "Why am I going to close doors? Until the last day of the transfer window there is always that possibility, that I have always told you."
Grau also annoyed the fans by saying the La Liga giants cannot offer Messi a blank cheque to commit his future to the club – saying that Barcelona will need to have "common sense" in the negotiations with the Argentina international.
Luis Suarez later told Grau to forget about "common sense" and hand his teammate a bumper new deal, while on Friday the club sacked Pere Gratacos from his role as director of institutional relations with the Spanish Federation for giving a controversial opinion on the Argentina ace.
Questioned minutes after Gratacos's dismissal about how Barcelona have to face Messi's renewal, Luis Enrique said: "What we have to do with the renewal of Messi is be calm. Messi and the club dictate the tempo of the negotiations."
Barcelona managed to put a struggling start to 2017 behind them by beating Athletic on Wednesday to secure qualification to the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey thanks to goals from Suarez, Messi and Neymar.
Luis Enrique believes that the visit of Las Palmas will be another tough challenge for his side as the eighth-place team in La Liga will try to steal possession of the ball.
"We are up against a side that has a similar philosophy to ours. They battle for the ball, and they try to use it to open up spaces and create chances," the boss added ahead of the visit of the Quique Setien's side. "As a fan, they're one of the most entertaining teams to watch. It will be tough to take the ball away from them. This is an important game at home, and we need to starting racking up points, but this opponent will make it tough through possession-based football."