Lionel Messi has produced his own list of transfer targets for Barcelona ahead of the summer.
Don Balon reports that the Argentine is keen for the club to find a suitable backup option for left-back Jordi Alba, with Lucas Digne deemed to not provide enough competition.
Among those on the Barca star’s list are Bayern Munich’s unsettled David Alaba, and Spanish duo Marcos Alonso and José Gayá.
Better competition needed
Digne has started the last two La Liga matches but did not impress. He was substituted off just after half-time against Deportivo Alaves last month, before only surviving 75 minutes in the draw at Espanyol at the weekend.
Messi has wasted no time in showing his discontent for the Frenchman, believing he is nowhere near the standard of Alba and does not provide a good alternative option when the Spaniard is unfit to play.
The most eye-catching name is that of Austrian defender Alaba, who has become one of the most gifted and versatile players in the game at Bayern Munich. Alaba has won six Bundesliga titles and the Champions League in 2013, among other titles.
However, the 25-year-old has become unhappy in Germany and could force a move away from the club in the summer, but will not come cheap.
Alternatively, Chelsea’s Alonso has been earmarked, having produced a stellar season last year on his way to claiming a Premier League winner’s medal. Alonso continues to be a menace down the left flank, netting six goals so far in this campaign.
If Barcelona wishes to buy from a rival, Messi believes Valencia’s Gaya would make a good fit and settle quickly at the Nou Camp.
Barca has a history of signing players from the Mestalla outfit, with their current squad featuring three former Los Che players in Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes, and Alba.
Gaya became the latest talented youth product to come from Valencia’s famed academy when the 22-year-old made his debut in October 2012. He has since made over 100 La Liga appearances for the club.
Any of the three would come at a huge cost, particularly Alaba and Alonso, considering their stature and success so far in the game. Yet, Messi holds plenty of influence at the club and will push to make sure they sign at least one of them.