Atletico Madrid outcast Luciano Vietto has admitted a desire to play alongside Lionel Messi, but offered no confirmation about which team he will play for next season. The Argentine forward confirmed the reigning La Liga champions are one of a number of clubs interested in his services.
The versatile 22-year-old forward moved to the Vicente Calderon last summer after being one of the breakthrough stars of the 2014-15 La Liga campaign – scoring 20 goals in 48 appearances for Villarreal.
However, the Argentine has failed to find top form at the Champions League runners-up, and Diego Simeone is reportedly willing to part ways with him in the coming window – either on loan or on a permanent basis if any team is willing to help them recoup the fee they paid last year.
Mundo Deportivo recently reported that Barcelona were monitoring the situation, as Luis Enrique believes he would be an adept back-up for the trident of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar next season. The report added that the Catalans saw him as a more affordable alternative to Kevin Gameiro,
were closely monitoring the situation as Luis Enrique believes he could be a good fit to serve as back up for the trinity of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar next season. The report then claimed that the Catalans see him as more affordable alternative to Kevin Gameiro to strength their attack, adding that Vietto's agent had even met with club officials to offer his services as the forward would love to play along his friend Messi.
Vietto and his agent, Jorge Cyterszpiler, have now confirmed the news.
The player said to Mundo Deportivo: "Yes, I'd love to play with him [Messi]. Who would not?"
"But I know nothing about Barcelona, only what I have seen on social networks and in the media. After finishing my holidays I'll make a decision," the player admitted.
His agent has added that Barcelona are one of 15 clubs interested in the player, adding that talks had also taken place with Serie A side Lazio.
"There are about 15 clubs interested in him: Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Villarreal, AC Milan, Inter, Roma, Lazio... I spoke with Lazio and they are a great club, but the competition is high," Cyterszpiler said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.