LIONEL MESSI doesn’t want Barcelona to sign Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazil international has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp in recent months.
Coutinho, 25, handed in a transfer request in the summer in hope of securing his dream switch to Barca.
However, despite the Spanish giants tabling three bids for the playmaker, the Reds held firm and kept hold of their star man.
And according to Spanish transfer outlet Don Balon, Messi doesn’t want Barca to sign Coutinho.
Reports claimed the Spanish giants would make a mammoth bid for the Brazilian in the January transfer window, despite Liverpool being unwilling to sell.
But Argentina talisman Messi has told Barca to look at alternatives, with Schalke ace Leon Goretzka at the top of his wish list.
Messi knows the signing of Coutinho would be complicated and the Nou Camp star sees Goretzka as a long-term replacement for Ivan Rakitic at Barca.
The Schalke key man, 22, has been linked with a move to Liverpool and Manchester United in recent weeks, with the Premier League big boys keeping tabs on the highly-rated Germany international.
Goretzka has netted four goals in eight Bundesliga starts this time out.