Pochettino breaks silence on Messi links

Ligue 1

Recently-appointed Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has broken his silence on rumours linking FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi with a move to the French capital.

Messi’s contract at Barcelona looks set to expire on 30 June 2021 and the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been strongly linked with a move to PSG in the event that he does not renew terms with the Catalan giants.

These rumours were recently fueled by the Parisians’ sporting director Leonardo who admitted the club’s interest in the Argentine forward, and new club boss Pochettino has now also had his say on the matter.

"There is a lot of talk. These are the strategies of all clubs to improve teams. In the end, we will see what happens," the former Tottenham Hotspur boss told Spanish publication AS.

"My responsibility is to have respect for the players who play for other teams and to keep that distance. In football, not everything goes, but all clubs work to get the best players to be closer to victory."

Scroll through the gallery below to see where PSG rank among the world’s richest clubs

When pressed on his interest in Messi, the 48-year-old admitted that he would love to manage his countryman but cautioned against his words being manipulated to spark further transfer speculation or controversy.

"Sometimes words are unnecessary. With the question you ask me, everything is understood. What coach in the world would not want to have a player of the calibre of which you are telling me?" he added.

"I totally understand the question, but it is looking for a controversy. It is a dangerous question if a word of mine is taken out of context… 'Pochettino will come disrespectfully, Pochettino talks about this, Pochettino talks about the other'."

Messi marks Barca return with milestone

10 of the latest completed January deals

10 high-profile coaches without a club