Barcelona considering swoop for Valencia striker Rodrigo, Bartomeu confirms

The Blaugrana president was asked about about the Spanish frontman amid mounting speculation over a January transfer deal

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed the Liga champions are considering a move for Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno.

Rodrigo has emerged as a target for Barca, who are in the market for attacking reinforcements after Luis Suarez's season-ending injury.

As revealed by Goal, Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is seen as the ideal target although the Gunners' reluctance to enter into talks means it's unlikely to happen.

Spain international Rodrigo is therefore seen as a more realistic option, with the forward having netted four goals for Valencia this season.

Asked about the mounting speculation, Bartomeu said: "We don't talk about players from other teams. But [Rodrigo's] name is on the table of the coaches.

"And a replacement will arrive. I do not know whether it will be from Barcelona B or from outside [the club]. I like many players."

Barca captain and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was also a topic of conversation.

In 2017, Messi signed a new contract with Barca until 2021 and the Spanish giants want to extend the 32-year-old's deal.

"He will be done with Barcelona when he wants. His relationship with Barcelona is forever," Bartomeu said.

"He has plenty more football to play here. Leo Messi will be around for a while."

Barca surrendered their position at the top of La Liga after losing 2-0 to Valencia at Mestalla on Saturday, a result which marked new boss Quique Setien's first defeat at the helm.

Real Madrid beat Real Valladolid 1-0 the following day to move three points clear the summit after 21 fixtures, but Bartomeu insists the Blaugrana are still in a strong position across all competitions.

"I'm not worried. We are working and trying hard," he added. "It's all to play for, both La Liga and the Champions League.

"We Barcelona fans worry about our team. We have just lost but the Copa del Rey tie against Leganes is approaching, and then La Liga. This doesn't stop.

"We have a new coach in Setien and we are confident in what he is doing."

Barca are currently preparing for a Copa del Rey round-of-16 clash against Leganes on Thursday, which comes three days before they welcome Levante to Camp Nou in La Liga.