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Valverde's four transfer targets to keep Messi

Valverde names four transfer targets to keep Messi at Barca

November 22, 2017 By Ali M.
According to Diario Gol, the Blaugrana boss believes these four new signings would convince the Argentine to put pen to paper on a new deal.

It is a story we have heard many times before: Messi holding out on extending his contract unless new signings that meet his approval are secured. Despite leading La Liga, the Blaugrana is nowhere near the attacking strength they boasted last season.

Ousmane Dembele was brought in to replace Neymar, but the Frenchman suffered a long-term injury before he could light up the league. Furthermore, La Pulga is rumored to be frustrated with the attacking threat of two players in particular: Paco Alcacer and Andre Gomes.

As a result, Diario Gol reports that Ernesto Valverde has shortlisted four new signings to go after in January to please Leo, as he continues to be linked with a Barcelona exit. Number one on the list is a no-brainer: Philippe Coutinho.

The Catalan outfit pulled out all the stops to lure the Brazilian to Camp Nou, but Liverpool wasn’t open to negotiations. As a result, he remained at Anfield and is thus unlikely to be sold in January. Barcelona is expected to return with another mega-money offer, nonetheless.

Mesut Ozil is another target. The German has been linked with Barcelona as his Arsenal contract expires at the end of this season. The former Real Madrid ace, who strived in La Liga during his Bernabeu days, is unlikely to extend his Emirates Stadium stay and will likely leave for pastures new come this summer.

Mesut Ozil, Stoke, Arsenal, English Premier League

The Blaugrana has two options: pay the rumored $23.2m price tag in January for the World Cup winner, or wait until the season ends to sign him for free.

Thomas Lemar is another name on Valverde’s list. The Monaco attacker was sought after by Arsenal and Liverpool last summer but opted to remain in Ligue 1. His form this season isn’t anything to brag about, but the attacker is full of potential.

Finally, on the list is one of the most in-form players at the moment: Nebil Fekir. The Lyon captain has been tearing Ligue 1 apart this season, scoring 11 and assisting four in eleven French top-flight games this term.

Messi will be in action on Wednesday. The Argentine will lead Barcelona as they face Juventus in Turin in a highly-anticipated Champions League tie.

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