first_imgErnesto Valverde is open to the idea of Barcelona dipping back into the winter transfer market, but is not expecting much January movement at Camp Nou.This time last year, the Blaugrana were preparing to open their cheque book in order to complete two big-money deals.Yerry Mina, who has since been moved on to Everton, was acquired for €11.8 million (£11m/$13m) while Philippe Coutinho was lured away from Liverpool in a €160m (£143m/$182m) agreement. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Barcelona added again over the summer of 2018, and find themselves back at the top of the Liga standings, but further recruits are possible over the coming weeks.Quizzed on his plans for the January window, Valverde told reporters: “We are always open to improving but we will have to see if any players come in.“But, in principle, we are happy with what we have and I am focused on the players we have here.”Barca are hoping that their ranks will soon be bolstered by the return from injury of World Cup-winning defender Samuel Umtiti.“We think that in a couple of weeks he might be able to start training again with the team, we’ll see how things are going,” Valverde said of the France international.“I always try to be optimistic and I would like that to happen. I think he has positive feelings. We’ll see.”Samuel Umtiti Barcelona 2018-19For now, Umtiti’s absence has been covered by the loan signing of Colombian centre-half Jeison Murillo from Valencia.Valverde said of a man pushing to make his debut: “Our idea was that Jeison would be available as soon as possible and he knows the league.“He’s going to have to play and we hope to see the best of him.”Barcelona will return to La Liga action on Sunday against Getafe.They will be hoping to preserve a three-point lead at the summit in that contest, with Valverde aware that challenges for the crown are likely to come from several rivals.Atletico Madrid are their closest challengers are present, with Sevilla and Alaves also flying high while Clasico foes Real Madrid are only seven points off the pace despite sitting fifth.Valverde added on the Blancos: “We still consider Madrid a candidate for the title.“Sometimes the gaps seem great but they are not so much, just two and a half games, and we see them as one of our rivals.“This year La Liga is tighter, everything is more compressed. But always it is better if we are first.”last_img