Angel di Maria has angered Ronald Koeman by talking up the possibility of his compatriot Lionel Messi joining him at Paris Saint-Germain next season.
Messi’s contract with Barcelona comes to an end this summer, with the Argentine said to be undecided about what to do in the future. He tried to leave the club last summer only to be thwarted by Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Barcelona board.
PSG are heavily linked with him, as are Manchester City. Both have the financial muscle to make the deal happen and share links with the Argentine.
Neymar, one of his best friends, is on the verge of renewing his deal at PSG while another compatriot, Mauricio Pochettino, has just taken over. In Manchester, Pep Guardiola, the man who led Messi to two Champions League titles, is in situ.
Di Maria, speaking after PSG beat Nimes 3-0, said as carried by Marca that the move could happen. “Yes, yes, I hope so,” he said when asked whether Messi could join him in Paris. “There are many possibilities. We have to be calm and things will develop.”
His own contract ends at PSG on 30 June, but he’s confident of securing a renewal. “We’re talking calmly at the moment,” he said. “Neymar is much younger so it’s normal that they talk to him first. Little by little we’re negotiating. The important thing is that I’m happy in Paris.”
His comments didn’t please Koeman, who responded after Barcelona beat Granada 5-3 in the Copa del Rey to qualify for the semi-final. His team face PSG in the last-16 of the Champions League. “It seems to me to be a lack of respect,” he said.
“It’s wrong to say such of thing, especially ahead of the Champions League game. It’s not fair, and I don’t think it’s respectful toward Barcelona to speak like that about a player who’s ours. They talk a lot about Leo, who plays for Barcelona. Besides, we have a tie against them.”