Lionel Messi wants Barcelona to sell Dembele instead of Coutinho

Messi Coutinho

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi would prefer the club to sell Ousmane Dembele ahead of Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.

Coutinho is currently linked with a move away from Barca this summer with Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain all interested in his signature.

The Brazilian has spent this campaign on loan at Bayern Munich but the German champions are unwilling to make the move permanent for £105m.

According to The Athletic, Barca could reverse their decision to sell Coutinho at the end of the campaign and the report claims that Messi has been unhappy with how the club have treated the former Liverpool star.

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The report claims that Lionel Messi and Barcelona’s senior players would prefer Dembele to be sold in the summer instead.

The France international, who was signed for an initial £97m plus a possible £38m in add-ons in August 2017, has struggled with injuries since arriving at the club and has started just 35 matches in La Liga in three years.

Last week, reports claimed that Frank Lampard’s side Chelsea were ‘very close’ to signing Philippe Coutinho.

But former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore believes Lampard would be making a huge mistake if he brought the 27-year-old to the Bridge.

‘If Frank Lampard signs Philippe Coutinho it could well be his first mistake as Chelsea manager,’ Collymore wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror.

‘The Brazilian would help an Everton, a West Ham or ­possibly Wolves – Premier League clubs whose usual aim is to finish between sixth and eighth.

‘He’d put bums on seats and sell the notion to supporters that their club is working hard to break into the Champions League.

‘But he is not going to help a team that is already there get any better, because he is one of the most overrated attacking midfielders in the game.

‘In 90 per cent of matches he actually offers very little in terms of taking a game by the scruff of its neck – he’s a flat-track bully, the player who scores a couple of wonder goals in a 5-0 rout when most of the work has been done.’


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