​Lionel Messi - who apparently has the deciding say on any player that ​Barcelona sign - has reportedly told the club who he wants to replace Andres Iniesta this summer.

The Spaniard seems set on leaving Camp Nou for pastures new and while he'll be incredibly difficult to replace, Messi seems to have found the man for it.

Iniesta looks to have played his last ever final in a Barcelona shirt, netting in his side's ​5-0 Copa del Rey triumph over Sevilla, and all but confirmed his departure with the classic 'tears from the bench' after he was substituted in the 88th minute.

Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final

(You might also be interested in: VIDEO: Sevilla Fans Join in Standing Ovation for Andres Iniesta After Copa Del Rey Masterclass)

And now, according to Spanish publication Don Balon, Messi has taken it upon himself to decide who will replace the midfield mercurial - and it isn't Philippe Coutinho.

Instead, the Argentine wants La Masia product Carles Alena to fill Iniesta's shoes. The youngster made his debut for the Blaugrana about a year ago, and manager Ernesto Valverde has already confirmed that Alena will become a prominent first team member next term.


It feels like a long time since a youth product has made their way into the Barcelona side properly.

The Spanish giants produced the likes of Sergio Busquets to Gerard Deulofeu in recent years, and while the latter isn't the worst name to arrive out of the academy, they'll certainly be hoping for more from Alena.

No pressure, you're only replacing a man that could be regarded as Barcelona's best ever midfielder.

Iniesta will surely announce where his future lies fairly soon, with many believing China will be where he ends his career.