Barcelona have identified a potential long-term successor to Lionel Messi, according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
Messi has established himself as arguably the greatest player to have ever played the game of football, and finding a replacement for a player who has broken innumerable records and has five Ballon D’Or trophies to his name could seem an impossible task on paper.
The Argentine is still only 29-years-old, and has quite a few years left in the game before he decides to hang up his boots and call it a day. However, Mundo Deportivo claim that Barcelona have already started hunting for, and identifying, prospective targets with the potential to fill his shoes once the sun sets on his emphatic career.
The Catalan club were after teenage sensation Ousmane Dembele, who was also being targeted by Manchester United in the summer, but eventually lost out to Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
As a result, Barcelona continued their search, and have now identified Juventus striker Paulo Dybala as a prime target.
The 22-year-old grabbed 19 goals and 9 assists in the Serie A last year – his debut season for the Bianconeri. He has become one of Europe’s most sought after talents, and would fit in well with Barcelona. However, Juventus would undoubtedly demand a high price for the Argentine, as he is a crucial player for them.
Earlier this year, former club captain Xavi spoke highly about Dybala, and said that the Catalan club and the player would be a perfect match for each other.
Speaking to Goal, Xavi said: “There are two players out there who I really like and who I think have Barcelona DNA.
“I am talking about [Marco] Verratti and Dybala. They are incredible. They would fit in easily at Barcelona because of their quality and style of play. I see future Barcelona players in them.”