• Messi will pick Neymar over Martinez, club source reveals
  • Due to coronavirus impact, Barca could be forced to make just one signing
  • Barca are seeing Neymar as Suarez's long-term replacement

A source from FC Barcelona reportedly has revealed that Lionel Messi prefers the club to prioritize Neymar’s signing over fellow Argentine, Lautaro Martinez.

It has been well known that Barcelona’s main targets for the upcoming summer transfer window are going to be PSG’s Neymar and Inter Milan’s Martinez. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, even the big soccer clubs such as Barcelona have suffered the financial impact of it.

Neymar, who had enjoyed three successful years at Barca alongside Messi and Luis Suarez as the club’s front three, has been desperate to return to Nou Camp. According to reports, the Brazilian has also agreed to take a staggering pay cut of $32 million if that would take him back to Spain from France.

Meanwhile, Martinez’s release clause of $119m looks highly difficult for Barca because of their prevailing financial crisis and which is why the Catalans have offered Inter the likes of Nelson Semedo and Carles Alena as part of a deal.

Even though Neymar and Martinez are high on Barcelona’s transfer targets list, the club clearly will not have the money to sign both the players and hence, the board members will have to pick one of them ahead of this summer.

While Messi is not a part of Barcelona’s transfer process, it is pretty certain that the final call will not be made without consulting the club’s captain.

Lionel Messi almost scored a breathtaking goal but Barcelona were held to a frustrating draw by Slavia Prague
Lionel Messi AFP / LLUIS GENE

The anonymous source has told Spanish Radio station Cadena Ser, "If he had to choose between Lautaro and Neymar, it's obvious Leo Messi prefers the Brazilian.”

Even the current Barca chief, Josep Maria Bartomeu has defended the need to bring back Neymar on a number of occasions in recent times as the La Liga champions are eyeing the Brazilian playmaker as a long-term replacement for the aging Suarez.