Barcelona transfer news: January exit for bit-part ace, Valverde eyes two defensive targets

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Being coach of Barcelona can’t be an easy job, but Ernesto Valverde has done a stellar job thus far of making it look relatively straight-forward.

The Catalan giants sit top of the La Liga table with a four-point lead over their nearest rivals, while they lead the way in their Champions League group and are on the verge of advancing to the knockout stage.

In turn, Valverde can be very pleased with the start he’s made on the Nou Camp bench, but speculation suggests that he could be set for a busy couple of transfer windows.

Denis Suarez could be on his way out of Barcelona

As reported by Sport, Corriere dello Sport led with a story concerning Denis Suarez on their front-page on Monday, linking the 23-year-old with a move to Napoli.

Suarez has found it difficult to establish himself in Valverde’s starting line-up on a regular basis so far this season, having been limited to nine appearances in all competitions, totalling just 457 minutes of football.

He has made an impact in those outings in his defence, scoring twice and providing three assists, but competition is fierce at Barcelona and it could in turn lead to an exit.

Swapping his current position for an important role under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world as he’d be joining one of the top clubs in Europe in terms of style of play as they chase Serie A glory this year and remain top of the pile in Italy.

Much-needed defensive reinforcements could arrive

While that’s one player who could be heading out the exit door, Don Balon report that two could be moving to Barca in January with Valverde keen to bolster his defensive options.

There’s no denying that he needs to do so as behind Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique, he can’t afford to be forced to rely on Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen forever.

While they’re experienced and professional individuals, their age and the latter’s injury problems surely make strengthening the defence as soon as possible a real priority, and the report claims that Inigo Martinez and Jose Gimenez are on the Barcelona radar.

A signing in January would surely spell the end for either Vermaelen or Mascherano who would slip further down the pecking order, but it remains to be seen whether or not Valverde gets what he needs midway through a campaign or if he has to be patient until next summer.

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