PSG showing no respect for Barca by talking about Messi: Koeman

Former teammates Neymar and Di Maria said they wished to play alongside the Argentine again

REUTERS February 04, 2021


Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has accused Paris St Germain of trying to crank up the pressure on his side ahead of their looming Champions League clash later this month by talking up the prospect of Lionel Messi joining their club.

Angel di Maria became the latest member of PSG to envisage the six-times world player of the year heading to the French capital when his Barca contract runs out in June, saying on Wednesday he "wished" he could play with Messi at PSG.

PSG's Brazilian forward and former Barca player Neymar said back in November he wished to play alongside Messi again, while sporting director Leonardo said last month that the French side had a seat at the table of clubs wishing to sign the Argentine.

"I think it is a lack of respect that so many people at PSG are talking about Messi when he is still a Barca player," Koeman said after Barca's 5-3 win at Granada in the Copa del Rey.

"They are trying to influence the game." Barca host PSG in a Champions League last-16 first leg on Feb. 16 before the return game in Paris on March 10. The Catalans pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the competition by beating PSG 6-1 in a last-16 second leg in 2017 to progress after losing the first leg 4-0.

Di Maria, Messi's Argentina team mate, is also down to the final few months of his contract but after scoring in a 3-0 Ligue 1 win over Nimes on Wednesday, he was asked if he wished to stay at PSG and for Messi to join them too.

"I wish. I think there are many chances of that, but I have to stay calm, think about myself and then see what happens," he said.


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