Mauricio Pochettino discusses Barcelona and responds to Lionel Messi rumours

Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t even made his debut as coach of Paris Saint-Germain and he’s already being asked about his intentions toward Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.

Messi’s contract at Camp Nou expires this coming summer and PSG have been touted as one of the favourites to sign him alongside Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City. Fellow Argentine Pochettino’s appointment at the French club has only strengthened their attractiveness as a potential option.

Pochettino will make his first appearance as PSG’s coach on Wednesday, when they face Saint-Etienne. He was asked whether he expects Messi to arrive in Paris as a gift from the three kings, in keeping with Spain’s Christmas tradition.

“Santa Claus has already done a great job by bringing me here to PSG,” he said in comments carried by Mundo Deportivo. “I thank President Al-Khelaifi and Leonardo for the trust they have placed in us. We are going to leave the rumours for later.”

Pochettino also spoke about the Champions League, with PSG scheduled to face Barcelona next month in the round of 16. “For PSG the Champions League is the most important thing, but it is also important of the rest of the competitors,” he said.

“It seems that it’s still far away, but it’s just next month. The most important thing for us is to get to the game with Barcelona well. We have confidence in our squad, but Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world and it will be tough.

Pochettino is missing Neymar, Mauro Icardi, Layvin Kurzawa, Danilo, Presnel Kimpembe, Leandro Paredes, Alessandro Florenzi, Juan Bernat and Rafinha for his curtain-raiser either through injury or, in the case of Rafinha, Covid-19.

Tags Barcelona Lionel Messi Mauricio Pochettino