Barcelona's Argentine sensation Lionel Messi has taken the club's transfer policy by the scruff of the neck, and ordered Barca chiefs to target Tottenham's Dele Alli over Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho following Neymar's inevitable departure.
Spanish news outlet Don Balon (via the Daily Star) report that, following Neymar's proposed €222m move to PSG, Messi has taken charge of the club's transfer dealings having reportedly been disappointed by last summer's business.
The four-time Ballon D'or winner has been impressed with the quality of new boy Nelson Semedo, who is seen as long term heir to Dani Alves' throne having signed from Benfica this summer.
Messi, however, realises the need for world class midfield reinforcement to emulate the glory days of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, and views Alli as a more competent alternative to Coutinho.
Newly appointed boss Ernesto Valverde will have a staggeringly large transfer budget once Neymar's move to the Parc des Princes is complete, and given the illustrious stature of the Spanish club, it would be difficult for any transfer targets to turn down a move to the Nou Camp.
PSG's Italian playmaker Marco Verratti has also been touted as a potential signing, although a move for 21-year-old Alli would be a more cost effective move given his age.
The England international, who has scored 28 goals in 70 games for Spurs since joining in 2015, would surely be tempted by a move to Barcelona, even more so when the best player in the world has personally called for him.