• Coutinho is reportedly still the number one target for Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde.
  • Manchester United gaffer Jose Mourinho is keen on Ozil and Griezmann.

Lionel Messi has reportedly urged Barcelona to bring Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho to Camp Nou, and not make approaches for Arsenal contract rebel Mesut Ozil and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.

According to the Mirror, Ozil and Griezmann have been identified as transfer targets for the Spanish giants. The German World Cup winner's current deal at the Emirates runs down at the end of the 2017-18 season, while Griezmann – who will see his release clause reduce to €100m (£89.3m, $119m) in January – has also been linked with a move to the Catalan club.

The report claims Messi wants to have his say on the players coming into Barcelona and that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has reportedly asked his employers to go all in for Coutinho.

The Liverpool playmaker was wanted by Barcelona in the summer transfer window. However, the Merseyside club refused to sanction his sale and turned down multiple approaches from the Camp Nou outfit, despite the player handing in a transfer request.

Coutinho, though, still remains manager Ernesto Valverde's number one transfer target for Barcelona, reports Mundo Deportivo. The club are expected to make a bid again of around €80m (£71.6m, $93.7m), plus €30m in add-ons, for the Brazil international in January.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho is still a transfer target for Barcelona Getty

Former Real Madrid player Ozil, on the other hand, is available for £30m ($40m) in January. However, Messi is not keen on playing alongside the Arsenal star.

As for Griezmann, the Argentina international is of the opinion that the Frenchman's signing will "hamper" Luis Suarez's playing time.

Messi and former Liverpool star Suarez have struck up a friendship, which is reportedly why the Barcelona talisman does not want his employers to go for Griezmann.

The Argentine has a lot of influence at Camp Nou, which was further boosted after he ended speculation surrounding his future by signing a contract extension on Saturday, 25 November. His new deal, which contains a €700m (£626m, $833.3m) release clause, will keep him at Barcelona until 2021.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old's advice to the Catalan club's hierarchy is likely to come as a welcome boost for Manchester United.

Ozil and Griezmann have been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, with the latter coming close to joining the 20-time English champions earlier in the summer. But the France international eventually rejected United to continue with Atletico after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the Spanish club's Fifa transfer embargo.

However, Griezmann recently admitted that a future move to United is a "possibility", alerting Jose Mourinho's side. Ozil is also keen on joining the Red Devils on a free transfer in the summer.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Mourinho is targeting left-footed players and the two stars top his list.

If Barcelona do get their preferred man in Coutinho, it would lead to them not making approaches for Ozil and Griezmann, which is likely to help United. Hypothetically, this would mean that the Brazil international and his former Liverpool teammate Suarez could indirectly help Mourinho land two of his transfer targets.

Antoine Griezmann-Mesut Ozil
Antoine Griezmann (L) and Mesut Ozil are transfer targets for Manchester United Getty