Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has reportedly suggested that his club sign Tottenham ace Dele Alli instead of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.
Barcelona are in the market for a marquee signing, having first chased Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti, before turning their attention to Coutinho.
With the futures of both Neymar and Andres Iniesta uncertain, the Catalan club are on the lookout for top-quality replacements.
But despite rumours of a mammoth £80m bid for Coutinho, it appears Liverpool are unwilling to do business over their key player.
However, Messi has reportedly told Barcelona that they should be going after Spurs midfielder Alli instead.
The England international was a key component of Tottenham’s strong Premier League showing last term, scoring 18 goals and providing a further seven assists in 37 appearances, missing just one game.
And the Barcelona may be forced to consider their star’s advice and look elsewhere, as Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted time and again that Coutinho will not be sold, telling the Liverpool Echo: “If I say he is not for selling, he is not for selling.”
Additionally, there has been no sign that the playmaker has agitated for a move, participated in pre-season preparations as usual, with no complaints over his attitude or application.
However, Alli is unlikely to be a cheaper alternative than his Brazilian counterpart, with chairman Daniel Levy infamous for being a tough negotiator.
But the midfielder’s comments to the Daily Express in May could give the Spanish club more hope of signing him, as he refused to commit his long-term future to Tottenham, saying: “It’s important you enjoy the journey, whether I end up at Tottenham for the next 15 years and retire here [or leave].
“I think it’s important for me not to get too carried away by what will happen in the future.
“The way football is, anything can happen at any time. I will enjoy my time here now; who knows what will happen in the future.”