Celtic striker Moussa Dembele has been selected by Barcelona star and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi as one of the Spanish giants’ transfer targets, according to Diario Gol.
Dembele has been a regular feature in the transfer gossip pages since his explosive start to life at Celtic.
After joining the Scottish champions from Fulham last summer, the 20-year-old has scored 28 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions.
His scintillating form has reportedly attracted the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and now it appears that Barcelona have joined the chase.
Diario Gol reports that the Catalan giants’ best player has requested that Dembele be one of the summer arrivals regardless of who succeeds Luis Enrique as manager.
The publication claims that Messi wants the young Frenchman to replace Paco Alcacer, who has struggled to make an impact since his move from Valencia last year.
Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos and Eibar forward Sergi Enrich are also said to be on Messi’s list.
The Argentine is widely regarded as one of – if not the – best footballers on the planet and his importance to Barcelona more than likely gives him huge influence within the club.
If Messi is demanding that the Spanish outfit bring Dembele to the club then it is safe to say that the hierarchy will make an attempt.
Even more so due to the fact that a manager is yet to be hired, which indicates that Messi is making it clear to whomever takes the hotseat in what direction he wants the club going.
From the player’s perspective, when someone of Messi’s calibre wants to grace the same pitch of said footballer, then it would be difficult to ignore.
For Celtic, they will not want to sell their best player, but they also have negotiating power in this situation due to Dembele having three years left on a four-year contract and the knowledge that a superpower like Barcelona have the funds to spend big.