Valverde open to January signings amid Suárez rumours

Valverde open to January signings amid Suarez successor rumours

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Barcelona have been linked with pursuits of new strikers and centre-backs, and Ernesto Valverde is not against making mid-season signings.

Ernesto Valverde believes Barcelona should always be on alert about potential transfers amid reports they want to sign a new defender and a successor to Luis Suárez.

It has been suggested the LaLiga champions are beginning to explore options to bolster their attack, with in-form Suárez turning 32 in January.

With Paco Alcácer thriving on loan at Borussia Dortmund, Munir El Haddadi is the only obvious back-up for the central striker position, prompting reports Barca are considering moves for the likes of Timo Werner and Lautaro Martinez.

Valverde is delighted with the performances of Suárez, who has seven goals in nine starts in the league this season, but sees no harm in keeping an eye on the upcoming transfer window.

"Barca are always alert to the market and planning for the market," he told a news conference. "It's a logical thing, not just for Luis. He is in a great moment of form and he stands the test of time very well."

Alcácer has shone at Dortmund this term, scoring eight goals in five matches in all competitions, and the Bundesliga leaders are thought to be keen to sign him on a permanent basis.

Valverde is happy to see the Spain international enjoying regular first-team football but would not be drawn on his future.

"It was good for him to go, and for everyone," he said. "We're pleased because he has more time to play. There is competition here that makes it difficult to put all of them in the team. He's showing a great level. We will talk about the future."

Barçaa have also been tipped to sign a defender early next year, particularly given injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen, and Valverde would not rule it out.

"We're waiting for Umtiti and Vermaelen to recover," he said. "I want them to recover as soon as possible. We're happy with them. Barca should always be attentive in the market."

Amid talk of possible new signings, much has been made of a lack of first-team opportunities for three of Barça's biggest recent arrivals.

Ousmane Dembélé continues to struggle for regular starts, while Arturo Vidal and Malcom, signed this year, are reported to have grown frustrated at being left out by Valverde.

However, the Barça head coach suggested each player could have something to offer in a busy few weeks to come.

"He's training really well," he said of Vidal. "We knew his competitive level. He's training more and that takes him to a great level. He has an unmatched competitive edge."

On Dembélé, he added: "It's true that it depends on the game whether we're interested in wide players who can open the pitch to us. Maybe he was suited to that the other day, with closed defences, but it's something that can be improved, as well as his recovery after losing the ball."


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