Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata praised by Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde
Last Updated: 12/01/19 7:28pm
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde refused to be drawn on the prospect of trying to sign out-of-sorts Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata following the departure of Munir El Haddadi.
Morata was a club-record £70m signing from Real Madrid in 2017, but the 26-year-old has suffered from a loss of form this season and has only managed five Premier League goals this term.
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri fuelled speculation Morata could be set to depart Stamford Bridge when he told reporters on Friday: "If Morata will go to another club we will need a replacement."
Valverde was coy on Barcelona's reported interest in the Spain international when he was asked directly about Morata ahead of Sunday's visit of Eibar.
"I can only say the same thing," Valverde said. "That he's a great player, that he's at another team and that we respect that a lot."
With Luis Suarez as the club's only recognised striker, Barcelona are in the market for reinforcements following Munir's cut-price departure to Sevilla on Friday.
"We have to look at it, it's clear that after Munir's departure we have a space," Valverde added.
"We'll see if we can sign a player, although we have to take into account the club's economic conditions. We will see if we can, if someone comes."