LIONEL MESSI would reportedly love to see Barcelona launch a move for Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso.
According to Don Balon, Messi was impressed by Alonso’s performances in Barcelona’s Champions League win against Chelsea on Wednesday.
The Spanish publication claim the 30-year-old has taken an increased interest in the club’s transfer activity because he is set to succeed Andres Iniesta as captain.
And he reportedly believes fresh competition is needed for Jordi Alba because Lucas Digne is not up to scratch.
Alonso would be a controversial signing for Barcelona because of his connections to bitter rivals Real Madrid.
He came through Los Blancos’ youth ranks before joining Bolton Wanderers in 2010 while his grandfather, Marcos Alonso Imaz, spent eight years at the Bernabeu.
Alonso’s father, Marcos Alonso Peña, spent time in Real Madrid’s academy but went on to make 124 appearances for Barcelona.
Madrid-born Alonso has established himself as a goalscoring wing-back since joining Chelsea from Fiorentina in 2016.
He has scored 13 goals in 74 appearances for the Blues and provided six assists.
According to Don Balon, Messi believes Alonso is suited to Barcelona’s style of football.
Marcos Alonso impressed Lionel Messi in Chelsea's Champions League defeat
The 27-year-old is under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2021 and Chelsea chiefs would likely demand a big increase on the £24million fee they spent for his signature.
Chelsea suffered a 4-1 defeat on aggregate to Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League and Alonso questioned the club’s transfer policy in the wake of their exit.
“It’s difficult as there are so many games this year and we have not got the deepest squad, maybe, and we have had new players this year,” he said.
“We can only look forward and start fighting for fourth spot in the Champions League and try to win the FA Cup.”