Lionel Messi and Neymar are allegedly at loggerheads over Barcelona’s pursuit of Philippe Coutinho.

The Liverpool striker is reportedly the Catalan giants’ top target and Messi is said to be worried about the influence of Neymar in the Nou Camp boardroom.

According to Diario Gol, the working relationship between the pair could become strained if Coutinho arrives.

But after their sensational 6-1 Champions League second –leg victory over PSG, it could not come at a worse time for Barca.

If Coutinho does follow Luis Enrique and switch Anfield for the Nou Camp, it would give Neymar a bigger standing with the Barcelona hierarchy.coutinho

Coutinho and Neymar are big pals and always have a laugh together when they are on international duty with Brazil.

But Messi is reportedly concerned about his own say in the club’s transfer policy as the club’s vice-captain and highest-paid player.

With Neymar and Suarez now sharing the attacking burden for Barca, it seems that the strain has been taken off Messi to provide the majority of attacking edge – not that that stops him.

The 29-year-old has netted 39 times this season and is on track to beat the 49 he grabbed last term.

Yet Andres Iniesta, 32, is undoubtedly a fading force and was taken off an hour into their win over PSG, before the rest of the comeback kicked in.

Another subplot to the Messi saga is that his contract expires in 18 months’ time and by then he might decide it is time for him to move on from the club where he has become a titanic figure.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has constantly been linked with a reunion with Messi, who may fancy a tilt at the Premier League before he becomes too old to thrive in the hustle-bustle of English football.

 

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