Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed how he found out that his club would be trying to sign Lionel Messi, thinking, at first, that it was a joke.
For much of the previous transfer window, reports in Spain had suggested that Messi would sign a new contract with Barcelona upon his return from holiday.
However, as the weeks went by, it became apparent that the Blaugrana were struggling to afford a new deal for the Argentine.
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It was eventually announced that the club and the player would part ways, bringing an end to their relationship of just over two decades.
Soon after, Messi was in Paris to join his new club, and Les Parisiens boss Pochettino has now opened up about the first time the idea of signing the Albiceleste talisman was presented to him.
"[PSG sporting director] Leonardo called me and said: 'The possibility is there. Would you like it or not?' The good thing is that he called me to ask. I said to myself: 'Is it a question?' I thought it was a joke, no? Of course," he said, per ESPN.
"I told him: 'Do we have to go and get him? Do I have to drive the van?' And that is when the negotiation started.
"From then on, Leonardo would call me every night to tell me how the situation was.
"Everyone had assumed that Messi would continue at Barcelona.
"Many clubs, if not all clubs, dreamt of having Messi, with him being a free agent.
"From the moment that PSG showed an interest, Leo wanted to come here. Everything happened very fast.
"We must highlight the work done by Leonardo, by our president and all the club executives that, in two or three days, were able to complete the signing of the best player in the world."
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