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Barcelona are on the lookout for a new centre-forward with Luis Suarez’s form giving Ernesto Valverde cause for concern.

Suarez has managed just four goals all season and looks a far cry from the player that has established himself as one of the best players in world football in recent years.

Icardi, meanwhile, is being tipped to join Real Madrid in January with the Argentina international enjoying a stellar year at Inter Milan.

And Spanish outlet Don Balon say Lionel Messi now wants Barcelona to focus their efforts on stopping Real from securing Icardi’s signature.

The 24-year-old has taken his game to the next level under the tutelage of Luciano Spalletti.

Icardi has 15 from 14 games so far this season, meaning he may replace Karim Benzema over at Madrid.

But Don Balon say that – though the striker is never one to shy away from controversy – Messi is a huge admirer.

The duo are team-mates at international level with Argentina, with Icardi managing to muscle his way into a side that also boast the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.

They have supposedly forged a close relationship and, though Messi is a staunch supporter of Suarez, would not be against seeing Icardi join him in Catalonia.

However, Real’s need is arguably greater.

Benzema’s form has been well-documented despite the Frenchman scoring three goals last week, against Apoel Nicosia (2) and Malaga.

Cristiano Ronaldo is also misfiring for Zinedine Zidane and may need replacing sooner rather…



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