New Barcelona boss ‘told to target Prem pair’ by Lionel Messi

Date published: Tuesday 6th June 2017 9:16

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona the three players he believes the club should target to strengthen their side, according to reports in Spain.

The Argentinian superstar holds massive influence both on and off the field at the Nou Camp and it wouldn’t be the first time the player had advised the club over their transfer affairs following claims earlier this year that he’d told the club six players should leave this summer.

And Spanish media outlet Don Balon claim Messi has already met with new boss Ernesto Valverde to tell him which areas of the side need improving most – with two Premier League names on his wishlist.

They suggest Messi has told Valverde that the club should target one of Philippe Coutinho or Riyad Mahrez to enhance their creativity, with PSG star Marco Verratti another name the Argentine has suggested.

Of the three, it’s Mahrez who is probably the most obtainable; the Leicester man and 2016 Player of the Year having recently submitted a transfer request to leave the club.

The Algerian has been linked with Arsenal after Arsene Wenger admitted his liking of the player over the weekend, but a move to Barcelona would be too good to turn down should they follow up on Messi’s suggestion.

Coutinho’s link to Barcelona is nothing new, though both the player and Liverpool have gone to great lengths in the past month to deny talk a deal could happen.

Verratti, meanwhile, would cost around £60million, and his future at PSG has been the subject of much discussion in recent months.

Barcelona have also been linked with a move for Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin and reports in Spain on Monday suggested the Catalan giants were preparing a £45million approach for their former Academy talent.

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