Leo Messi names Premier League player who Barcelona must sign instead of Coutinho

BARCELONA star Lionel Messi has reportedly advised the club to sign Tottenham ace Dele Alli instead of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.

Barcelona are hoping to sign Liverpool star Coutinho after failing in a bid to lure Marco Verratti away from Paris Saint-Germain.

Express Sport understands they are preparing to launch an offer of £80million for the Brazil international, who has been earmarked as a long-term replacement for club veteran Andres Iniesta.

The Reds have so far played hard ball over any potential deal, with Jurgen Klopp repeatedly insisting his star asset will not be on the move this transfer window.

And reports in Spain are saying that Messi has put an alternative on the table.

Don Balon claim the Barcelona star would instead prefer the Catalan giants to swoop for Tottenham star Dele Alli.

Alli has enjoyed a stunning rise since signing for Spurs in 2016, helping the club challenge for the Premier League title in each of his two years in north London.

Messi supposedly thinks the 21-year-old would fit the Barcelona style of play better than Coutinho.

And, after a campaign that saw Alli score 22 goals from 50 games, it is not hard to see why.

However, Don Balon add that Barcelona will have to pay a similarly high fee for the England international should they opt to follow Messi’s advice.

Speaking back in May, the Tottenham star refused to rule out a move away from White Hart Lane.

“It’s important you enjoy the journey, whether I end up at Tottenham for the next 15 years and retire here [or leave],” he said.

“I think it’s important for me not to get too carried away by what will happen in the future.

“The way football is, anything can happen at any time. I will enjoy my time here now; who knows what will happen in the future.”