Despite talk of the switch being imminent, though, Barca boss Valverde was unwilling to discuss the midfielder's future role in his starting lineup.
"Would he fit in? He plays for a different team, we have a policy not to talk about players at other teams," he told reporters. "To speak out of place would be taken out of context. He is a good player but he doesn't play for us, I'd rather speak about my own players."
Valverde also played down talk of a return for Neymar following surprise reports that the Brazilian wants to head back to Camp Nou in the summer.