Spanish side, Barcelona have started the process of finding a perfect replacement for their key player, Lionel Messi, who will be turning 33 years old in June.
The club’s greatest player of all time has been an endless saviour for the last few years, so bringing in somebody who could be influential even when the rest of the team underperforms would be a big step.
English daily Express has claimed that the Catalans have narrowed down their list of potential Lionel Messi replacements to three candidates. Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe and Tottenham Hotspur marksman Harry Kane comprise of the shortlist alongside Brazilian superstar Neymar, for probable transfers in the summer.
After exploring the possible moves for their three chief replacements for Lionel Messi, Barca have come to the realisation that Mbappe and Kane are currently unattainable for them. Mbappe is worth almost 300 million euros and is almost certain to sign for Real Madrid, whereas Harry Kane is a major part of Jose Mourinho’s plans for the future and has himself insisted in the past that he wants to stay in London throughout his career.
Neymar has been eyed as the best option and there will be an attempt to land him from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, only three years after his remarkable move to France for a world-record fee of 222 million euros, which still stands much ahead of the others. That being said, he may cost in excess of 200 million euros to Barca this year.
Valverde’s side messed up in as many as three attempts to sign a replacement for Neymar since the Brazilian’s departure by spending over 300 million euros in the process. Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho have both been absolute wastes for the kind of money spent on them, and Antoine Griezmann is more of a goal-scoring striker and has not been able to contribute on all aspects of the attacking like Neymar did.
Lionel Messi has scored over 600 goals for the Blaugrana throughout his career and will look to extend his tally when the Catalans visit Espanyol’s RCDE Stadium over the weekend for their La Liga clash. A win would ensure that Ernesto Valverde’s men maintain top spot before flying off to Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super Cup.