Barcelona Manager Koeman Hits Back at Leonardo’s Comments Regarding Messi

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo is well known for being upfront and honest on his viewpoints regarding the club. And in a recent interview with France Football, he did just that on a variety of topics, from transfer matters to updates on the contract situations with a couple of PSG players.

For one, Leonardo was asked about FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi. The Argentine star is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season, and as usual with such a high-profile star like the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, clubs such as PSG have been linked with a possible move to sign him.

Leonardo added more fuel to the speculation regarding whether PSG has plans to pursue Messi for a blockbuster free transfer deal.

“Great players like Messi will always be on the PSG list,” Leonardo said. “But this is of course not the time to talk about it, or to dream about it.

“But we are seated at the large table of those who are following the file closely. In fact, no, we are not yet seated, but our chair is just reserved in case.”

While Leonardo did not provide a firm statement on whether PSG will be interested in such a move, his vague answer did leave behind more questions than answers.

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman took time to respond (via AS) to Leonardo’s comments about Messi. He did not bash the PSG sporting director for bringing up one of Koeman’s players but rather sarcastically provided remarks that with world-class players, any manager would be interested in acquiring such talents.

“If you ask me if I’m interested in Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe, I’d say yes,” Koeman said. “I don’t know what will happen in the future. I can’t give an opinion on those. We try to have the best squad possible.”

The two clubs are set to meet in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 later this season. Between now and then, there is expected to be even more speculation and rumors about Messi’s future. And for the Argentine, he may be questioned by many ahead of this main event Champions League tie on whether he views PSG as a possible destination in the case that he aspires to end his Barcelona tenure after this season.

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Tags Barcelona Kylian Mbappé Lionel Messi Neymar Ronald Koeman