Barcelona could be looking to sign Cristian Pavon from Boca Juniors before the World Cup starts, with Lionel Messi keen for the club to land his compatriot.

According to Spanish publication Don Balon, an Argentine international could indeed be making his way to the Nou Camp in the summer transfer window, albeit an unexpected one. Lionel Messi reportedly wants Barcelona to sign compatriot Cristian Pavon, who currently plies his trade for Argentine heavyweights Boca Juniors.

In fact, the global icon has not only iterated his desire for Barcelona to sign the 22-year-old, but has also warned club president Josep Maria Bartomeu of the possibility of Pavon’s asking price increasing exponentially if the club is to wait until the end of the World Cup.

Cristian Pavon signed for Boca Juniors from local side CA Talleres in the summer of 2014 and after a six-month loan spell at Colon, found himself a niche within the Boca Juniors’ first-team setup. The 22-year-old hasn’t looked back ever since and has only continued to improve his statistics and playing style with each passing season.

Pavon has enjoyed his best campaign till date with Boca Juniors, amassing 11 assists and 6 goals in 25 league appearances while he was instrumental in their Copa Libertadores Group Stage matches, with 6 assists and a goal to his name as Boca Juniors finished second to Palmeiras in Group 8.

Possessing the ability to play all across the front three, Pavon could be the perfect fit at Barcelona, something Lionel Messi seems to agree on. The Argentine superstar is excited at the prospect of Pavon, who he thinks has all the qualities to be the breakout star of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which would then make it difficult for Barcelona to sign him without any persistence from Boca Juniors or competition from other potential suitors.

A potential breakout star for the World Cup? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

A potential breakout star for the World Cup? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

While Antoine Griezmann is poised to join Barcelona, Pavon could be an option off the bench for the club going into the 2017-18 season, with depth lacking in attack for Ernesto Valverde, especially with Ousmane Dembele linked with an exit from the club.

And if the Atletico Madrid superstar somehow decides against joining Barcelona, Pavon could be the ideal alternate target for the club. Pavon, at 22, would love the opportunity of partnering his international captain at club level as well, with the added prospect of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, in the form of Barcelona.

Pavon has the seal of approval from Messi already and Barcelona would be wise to do a deal with Boca Juniors for the 22-year-old before the World Cup starts. For all we know, Messi’s prediction could bear fruit and we could maybe see Pavon be the James Rodriguez of the 2018 edition.

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