Barcelona have drawn up a four-man shortlist of transfer targets they want to sign in order to “keep Lionel Messi happy”.
Mesut Ozil, Philippe Coutinho, Nabil Fekir and Thomas Lemar are wanted by Barca boss Ernesto Valverde to bolster the ranks at the Nou Camp.
Despite Barcelona insisting Messi’s new deal has already been “agreed and signed”, there is yet to have been an official statement and the customary handshake.
Spanish news-site Dario Gol reports one possible reason for the delay could be because their legendary No10 is unhappy with the level of talent the club have brought in of late.
The likes of Paco Alcacer and Andre Gomes have failed to make their mark, and while Ousmane Dembele was seen as a good signing, his injury has exposed something of a lack of depth.
Although it is worth remembering that they are top of the league by four points.
Barcelona have devised a four-man shortlist designed to ease their star player’s worries.
Coutinho and Lemar were both considered by the club last summer, with the Brazilian playmaker even handing in a transfer request at Liverpool in an attempt to force through a move.
Lemar was also wanted by Arsene Wenger, but the 22-year-old Frenchman chose to stay at Monaco.
Ozil, meanwhile, is out of contract at the end of the season with Arsenal, and seems no closer to singing a new deal.
Barcelona could get him on the cheap as soon as January.
Fekir, who made the news recently when his Messi-esque celebration incited a pitch invasion, has been earmarked as France’s next superstar and is already captain at Lyon.
Only Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao have scored more goals in Ligue 1 this season.
The Messi situation is worrying not only the club’s fans, but also some of his own players.
Ivan Rakitic told Sport.Es,: “I can’t say 100 per cent if he will stay or not. That’s his decision and you have to respect what each person thinks or does.
Perhaps one or two more £100million+ team-mates would convince Messi to put pen to paper?