Shanghai Shenhua manager Gus Poyet has admittedBarcelona star Luis Suarez would be his number one target if his new Chinese club give him carte blanche to sign one player in the world. The former Sunderland boss also revealed his admiration for Lionel Messi but expects him to sign a new deal at Nou Camp.
The Uruguay boss took over at Shanghai Shenhua in November and, only weeks later, was welcomed by his new bosses with the signing Carlos Tevez from Boca Juniors. The former Manchester United striker is reportedly set to receive a £310,000 ($382.000) per week salary to become the best paid player in the world and Poyet cannot hide his delight over his arrival.
"It's a luxury (to coach Tevez). When I was told that he could join us I was was, like, crazy – and when it was confirmed I could not be happier," the former Sunderland manager said during an interview with Sport.
Poyet also has former Chelsea striker Demba Ba and Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins in his ranks but he still would also be open to add more ammunition to his Shanghai Shenhua attack if Barcelona star Suarez becomes available.
Asked which player he would sign if he wouldn't have any cost limitation, Poyet said: "Suarez... It's an impossible question, but I'll go for Luis."
A deal for Suarez also looked impossible as the former Liverpool star only committed his long-term future to Barcelona by signing a new deal last month – setting his release clause at £172m..
Elsewhere, Messi has also been linked with a big-money move to China in recent weeks, amid the delays in the negotiations with Barcelona to sign a new deal.
Poyet admits his admiration for Messi but said: "I don't see him in China. Right now I don't see him anywhere but Barcelona. In the future I don't know, but not now."
"I think (he will sign a new deal at Barcelona). I can't imagine any other scenario. You wouldn't understand Barcelona without Messi. It's Leo's decision, so unless he wants to try something new I don't think there will be any problems with his renewal,"
"Messi's the No 1, that's indisputable. But he needs, or is more comfortable [with], the support of a team that wants to play in a certain way, that wants to control the play."