Ernesto Valverde
Ernesto Valverde open to signing new players in January. Getty Images


  • Barcelona are expected to make a fresh attempt to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.
  • Spanish agent Minguella says the Catalans turned down a chance to sign Mbappe in the summer.

Ernesto Valverde has admitted that Barcelona are "attentive" to the possibility of bolstering their squad during the upcoming January transfer window amid fresh speculation linking the Catalans with a new move for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.

Barcelona have enjoyed an impressive start to the season after Valverde made four additions to the squad during the summer in the form of Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Ousmane Dembele.

The Catalans remain unbeaten in La Liga after eight games,and sit at the top of the table, four points ahead of Valencia and five above Real Madrid.

Furthermore, Barcelona have also won their first three games in the Champions League, including a 3-0 victory over Juventus.

Yet, Mundo Deportivo reported on Friday morning that Valverde still wants Barcelona to sign "one or two" more players ahead of the second part of the season.

Barcelona are tipped to make a fresh attempt to sign Coutinho from Liverpool but it has been said that Valverde has also requested the recruitment of a new centre-back to bolster his back-line.

Valverde has not discussed the pursuit of specific targets but the manager did confirm that Barcelona will be open to signinig new players once the transfer window reopens.

"It is clear that Barcelona are always attentive to improving the team if it is possible. I say that as a club but at the same time, as a manager, I have the idea of getting the best out of the players I have and I do not look too much to other players," Valverde admitted during a press conference ahead of the La Liga visit of Malaga on Saturday 21 October.

"These players [the one who are already at Barcelona] are the ones who have to pull forward and then, when the [January] transfer window arrives, we will see. There are still two months left and there is time [to think about whether it is necessary to make new signings]."

However, the Barcelona manager was coy when asked whether Barca turned down a chance to sign French starlet Kylian Mbappe during the summer transfer window.

Prestigious Spanish agent Josep Maria Minguella said earlier this week that the 18-year-old only joined Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day after Barcelona opted against completing his signing in a deal worth around €150m (£133.9m, $176.6m) including add-ons.

"Barcelona had Mbappe's signing in their hands when it was known that Neymar was leaving. [They could have signed him] for €120m plus €30m in add-ons," Minguella said. "I talked to his father and, when the boy heard that Neymar was leaving, he said that he just wanted to go to Barcelona.

"He said he did not want to go to Paris and neither wanted to join [Real] Madrid if they were keeping those three in the attack [Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema]. I was given his father's phone and he explained me everything. However, Barcelona was focused in Dembele. We will see the carer that makes one and the other."

But when quizzed over the issue, Valverde said: "No, not as far as I know. I don't know what to say to you. There's always talk about a lot of players. To my knowledge, we couldn't have signed him. But I don't know, no idea. I guess [we didn't have the chance to sign him] because he's not here."