Ernesto Valverde refuses to rule out move for Carlos Vela

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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has refused to rule out a potential move for Carlos Vela during the ongoing transfer window. The Mexico international has been linked with a surprise switch to the Blaugrana over the past weeks amid suggestions that Valverde is looking into a potential back-up option for Luis Suarez upfront.

Speaking in a news conference, Valverde praised the qualities of the former Arsenal graduate but refused to confirm whether the club are interested in acquiring the player’s signature, he said: "He's a great player. He's played in our league but we don't normally talk about players from other clubs. A lot is said about every name that comes up. I can understand, being Mexican, why you are interested but he plays for another club."

Meanwhile, “when asked about the potential search for another centre-forward“,Valverde added that he is not frustrated by the situation and the club are doing their best to fulfil the requirements during the ongoing transfer window, he further told: "No, I'm not frustrated. I know the club is working on possibilities but we'll wait and see. It's not as easy as it might appear. We'll see if “something can be done“ and if not we'll carry on with the players that we've got."

Barcelona are currently top of the league standings with a five-point advantage over Atletico Madrid and they have the opportunity to maintain the gap when they entertain Leganes in the weekend’s La Liga showdown. Elsewhere, the club have already progressed to the last-eight of the Copa del Rey after getting the better of Levante across two legs by a 4-2 aggregate score. Levante secured a shock 2-1 triumph during the opening leg but the Blaugrana made amends with a comfortable 3-0 victory at the Camp Nou to progress. They are scheduled to face Sevilla at the quarter-final stage.