Lionel Messi would prefer Barcelona to sell Ousmane Dembele ahead of Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.
Coutinho is currently heavily linked with a move away from Barca this summer with Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly in the running for his signature.
The Brazil international has spent the season on loan at Bayern Munich but the German champions are unwilling to make the move permanent for €120 million (£105m).
According to The Athletic, Barcelona could reverse their decision to sell Coutinho at the end of the season and the report claims that Messi has been angered by how the club have treated the former Liverpool midfielder.
The report claims that Messi and Barca’s senior players would prefer Dembele to be sold instead.
The France international, who was signed for an initial €105m (£97m) plus a potential €42m (£38m) in add-ons in August 2017, has struggled with injuries since arriving at Camp Nou and has started just 35 games in La Liga in three seasons.
Last week, reports claimed that Chelsea were ‘very close’ to signing Coutinho. But former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore believes Frank Lampard would be making a huge error if he brought the 27-year-old to Stamford Bridge. ‘If Frank Lampard signs Philippe Coutinho it could well be his first mistake as Chelsea manager,’ Collymore wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror.
‘The Brazilian would help an Everton, a West Ham or possibly Wolves – tier-tw- Premier League clubs whose usual aim is to finish between sixth and eighth. ‘He’d put bums on seats and sell the notion to supporters that their club is working hard to break into the Champions League.