Lionel Messi ‘snubs Argentina team-mate Lautaro Martinez in favour of transfer return for old pal Neymar from PSG’ – The Sun

LIONEL MESSI will reportedly favour Neymar's return to Barcelona over the arrival of Argentina team-mate Lautaro Martinez.

Spanish outlet Cadena Ser claim that the Catalans will consult their club captain over his preference if they are forced to prioritise transfers this summer.

Ideally, the LaLiga giants want to sign both Neymar and Martinez as they seek to strengthen for next season.

Yet the global coronavirus pandemic, which has caused much financial uncertainty in football, has meant such a lavish spending spree is highly unlikely.

While Lautaro Martinez is more of a priority for Barcelona tactically, Paris-Saint Germain superstar Neymar remains a key target for the club strategically.

While Messi doesn't make the signings in Catalonia, as their main man his opinion on their primary targets could be the deciding factor.

A club source told the Spanish radio station: "If he had to choose between Lautaro and Neymar, it's obvious Leo Messi prefers the Brazilian."

Neymar, who previously formed part of Barcelona's fabled MSN trio with Luis Suarez, was recently revealed as one of Messi's top team-mates.

The 28-year-old spent four years at the Nou Camp and played 161 times alongside the Argentine before his world-record transfer to PSG in 2017.

Neymar is believed to be willing to take a £26MILLION pay cut if he wants to leave France to return to Barca.

Meanwhile, Martinez was named as top of the Catalan giant's shortlist as they look for Luis Suarez's long-term replacement in attack.

The 22-year-old has a £97million buyout clause in his Inter Milan contract but football's financial crisis means Barca are being forced to tighten the purse strings.

One option that has been rumoured to lower the cost is for the Spaniards to offer the Italians Nelson Semedo and midfielder Carles Alena as part of the deal.

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