Barcelona are expected to launch an assault on Liverpool star Coutinho when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
The Catalan giants failed with three bids for the 25-year-old in the summer but Ernesto Valverde remains keen to secure the player’s signature.
However, Spanish website Diario Gol claim Messi has blocked a deal for Coutinho.
And that is because the 30-year-old feels Barcelona would be better-suited spending their money on a defender in the wake of Samuel Umtiti’s injury.
Umtiti damaged his hamstring in Barcelona’s 2-2 La Liga draw with Celta Vigo at the weekend.
And it means the France international will now be out of action until 2018, missing their crunch game with Real Madrid in the process.
Barcelona are continuing to fight on all fronts but Messi, Diario Gol say, remains concerned about their chances of silverware.
The Argentina international has supposedly made his feelings on the matter known to club chiefs.
Though Barcelona have Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen on their books, Messi wants more.
And Barcelona could now try and sign Ajax prodigy Matthijs de Ligt.
The defender only turned 18 in August but is billed as one of the best talents Dutch football has to offer.
Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has insisted he is not sweating on Coutinho’s future.
“Nothing, but I don’t think about it,” he said when asked what made him so sure the Brazilian would stay at Anfield.
“Not one second. I’m not unsure, I’m not sure, I don’t think about it.”
Coutinho is yet to win a trophy at Liverpool since signing from Inter Milan in January 2013.