Lionel Messi Urges Barcelona to Target Tottenham Star Instead of Philippe Coutinho This Summer
Most reports may have Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho as the favourite to join Barcelona, but Lionel Messi is more keen for his employers to sign a different Premier League midfield talisman this summer, according to Don Balon anyway.
Barcelona seem to have their eyes set on Coutinho and are looking to step up their pursuit of the 25-year-old, after having had their initial bid of £72m rejected.
However, Liverpool maintain that their star player is not for sale at any price, while Messi (apparently) would rather see the Barça recruitment focus turned towards a move for Spurs' Dele Alli instead.
Whether actually recommended by Messi or not, the 21-year-old has taken the Premier League by storm since joining Tottenham from MK Dons in 2015.
In the 2016/17 season, Alli staked his claim to be considered one of the very best in the Premier League - scoring 18 goals and registering nine assists, as Spurs finished second.
Alli has already also become an integral part of the England set-up, already winning 19 senior caps for his country and would be an asset to most sides in world football.
Like Liverpool with Coutinho, Spurs would also be very reluctant to sell one of their star performers, who has a contract until 2022 having signed a new long-term deal last September.
However, Don Balon's report suggests that Spurs' hierarchy (including the notoriously shrewd transfer negotiator Daniel Levy) would only consider letting him leave for Barcelona, if a record-breaking offer came their way.