In Brief

Lionel Messi ‘quit threat’ to Barcelona: sign Harry Kane or Kylian Mbappe

Argentine No.10 wants the Catalan giants to buy a world-class goalscorer

In a sensational story from Spain it’s claimed that Lionel Messi has “threatened to quit” Barcelona unless they sign a new world-class striker.

Messi has been on top form this season with 30 goals already to his name but according to Spanish outlet Don Balon the Argentine superstar is “fed up” of shouldering the goalscoring responsibility.

Fellow forward Luis Suarez has seen a drop in form this campaign and the lack of a replacement in the No.9 position is “taking its toll at this point”.

According to the report Barca have drawn up a shortlist of potential signings to bolster their attack. On the target list are Timo Werner, Hirving Lozano, Maxi Gomez and Luka Jovic.

However, Don Balon says that Messi “does not feel that these are forwards have reached the level that is needed to be a scorer in the club”.

Instead it’s claimed that Messi wants the Catalan club to break the bank and sign either Tottenham striker Harry Kane, 25, or Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, 20.   

Citing the Don Balon report, TeamTalk.com says: “Messi has asked Barcelona to go out and secure the signing of either Kane or Mbappe, and in case they do not comply with that request, he has shown an intention to leave the club.

“Messi’s time in Barcelona is described as ‘limited’ and his departure is apparently ‘getting closer’ unless club president Josep Maria Bartomeu reacts.”

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde is certainly a fan of England captain Kane, the golden boot winner at last year’s Fifa World Cup.

“He’s a great player, world class,” Valverde said when Barca played Spurs in the Champions League in December. “An extraordinary striker who associates well, has an aerial game, is decisive in the area.

“I do not like to talk about players who are on other teams. We keep the maximum discretion but that does not stop us feeling a great respect for Kane and admire him.”

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