Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu says the club need to add a “finishing touch” to their squad in January if they are to win the Champions League for the sixth time in their history.
Barca have made a great start to the season under new coach Ernesto Valverde. They are four points clear of Valencia at the top of La Liga — and 10 ahead of Real Madrid — and will seal first place in their Champions League group with a draw at Juventus on Wednesday.
However, there is still the feeling they need to bolster their ranks after they missed out on a number of targets in the summer, including Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria, while Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has also been linked recently.
Coutinho remains the club’s top priority going into the January window, while Mundo Deportivo report Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil is the backup plan if a move for the Brazili international fails again.
“There are people more qualified than me, like [general manager] Pep Segura and [CEO] Oscar Grau,” Bartomeu said at the Catalan Sports Awards on Monday when asked if signings can be expected in January.
“We’re satisfied with the squad but if there is an opportunity to improve in January, Barca always have to try. The ambition is there. We want to win everything: La Liga, the Copa del Rey… to win the Champions League, maybe [the squad] needs a finishing touch.”
As well as adding to the squad, Bartomeu says it’s also important to keep the current nucleus in place, with Luis Suarez, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Sergio Busquets among those to renew their contracts in the last year.
While finding time for Lionel Messi to sign his new terms is next on his list of tasks, Bartomeu also revealed talks are underway to give Sergi Roberto a new deal.
Roberto, 25, is out of contract in 2019 and his €40 million buyout clause is not the deterrent it would have been when he signed the deal in 2013. A number of Premier League clubs have been credited with an interest in the midfielder.
However, Roberto, who was named the Best Catalan Footballer of the Year at Monday’s awards ceremony, assured supporters they have nothing to worry about.
“Barca are the club of my life and I want to stay here forever,” he said.
“So I want it to be clear: no one should worry about my renewal. I am at the best club in the world and I’ve been lucky to come through the youth teams and reach the first team. I am really happy here.”