Lionel Messi has singled out Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli as the perfect replacement for Ivan Rakitic, according to Don Balon.
Messi is a keen admirer of the 21-year-old Spurs star, and believes he would fit perfectly into the Barcelona system alongside their other target Coutinho.
The Catalan giants are optimistic that Spurs would be more willing to negotiate with them over rivals Real Madrid, after Los Blancos poached away Gareth Bale and Luka Modric.
A stumbling block to the deal would be money, with Barca also chasing Coutinho and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.
Good move for Tottenham?
In a word, no. While the fee commanded for Alli would undoubtedly be huge, the loss of one of their stars would be devastating for Spurs. The club’s priority must be to keep their current squad together as much as they possibly can, and Alli is probably second only to Kane in the Spurs pecking order. The midfielder is incredibly still only 21 years old, which would suggest he is still years off reaching his potential. For Spurs to lose him now would be a massive shame. It is not known what Alli’s intentions are for his future, but there is no reason to suggest he wants a move away from Spurs in the near future, although any move from Barca is usually telling.
This is Futbol rating: 1/10
Likely to happen?
As just mentioned, Barcelona usually get what they want. The Catalan giants are one of very few clubs that players rarely say no to, and Alli is probably no different. However, Alli has seen his stock rise remarkably under Mauricio Pochettino, and so he may yet want to stay at Spurs to continue his rapid development. There has been no murmurings of discontent from the player, who enjoys a starring role in North London, something he would most definitely not enjoy at the Nou Camp. Spurs fans will hope that Alli stays focused on winning silverware with Spurs, before his head is turned by the likes of Barcelona.
This is Futbol rating: 7/10