Liverpool must wait to sign Barcelona star but could Lazio offer alternative?

Cristian Tello

Barcelona youngster Cristian Tello has ruled out a move in January, cooling speculation he could move to Liverpool this month, but left the door open to a move in the summer.

The 22-year-old Catalan attacker has found it difficult to cement his place in the team at the Spanish champions since his breakthrough into the first team two years ago.

Graduating through the youth system at Barcelona B after signing from Espanyol, the winger now finds himself with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez to compete with for a place in the line up ahead of the World Cup this summer in Brazil.

The Spanish international gained his first senior cap in 2013 but looks unlikely to be able to force his way into national coach Vincente del Bosque’s squad for the World Cup, especially given he has yet to play a full 90 minutes of league football for Barcelona this term. Tello has made 11 appearances in La Liga, 9 as a substitute and two in which he was taken off, and he has yet to get his name on the score sheet other than for his two assists.

Subsequently, he has been long linked with a move away and Anfield has been the destination most speculated with Brendan Rodgers’ tendency to bring in up-and-coming Spanish talent in recent windows at Liverpool.

The Reds look likely to miss out on Tello – at least for now – as he moved to dismiss on speculation of a Camp Nou exit this month.

"I will definitely stay at Barcelona until June, then we will see in the summer," he stated in Marca.

His contract runs until 2018 but without regular first-team football, at the age of 22 and with such promise he may eventually decide his future lies elsewhere but, for the time being, it seems he is prepared to stay and fight for his place.

Perhaps Tello's statement on the matter is the trigger in rumours today that Liverpool have now turned their attention to Lazio attacking midfielder Antonio Candreva.

The 26-year-old Italian would represent a more mature and experienced option to young Tello.

Candreva has four goals and seven assists to his name in Serie A so far this term and will, like Tello, be hopeful of booking his place in the Italy squad for the World Cup this summer.

image: © 3oheme

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