Messi wants Milito deal

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Lionel Messi believes Barcelona should step up their pursuit of Real Zaragoza defender Gabriel Milito.

Barca are in the market for a central defender after refusing to pay Roma's asking price for Christian Chivu, and Milito has told his club that he intends to leave this summer.

Zaragoza are thought to be ready to let the player leave should a club meet their asking price, and Juventus have been strongly linked with a move for his services.

However, Barca are confident that they can match the Italian club's offer and Messi says he would be delighted to see his Argentina team-mate at Camp Nou.

"It would be wonderful - Gabi is a great player," he said. "I would love him to sign for Barca.

"His arrival would strengthen the defence and bringing in players of his quality is very important.

"He has everything. He is solid, very strong and is great in the air. He is a winner and always transmits that. He really does not like to lose.

"Also, he is a great person - a really good guy - and it would be fantastic if he could play for us.

"We have talked many times in training and, although we do not have much information, we speak about all kinds of things."

Messi and Milito are currently on international duty at the Copa America in Venezuela.