BARCELONA

"A lack of respect": Koeman hits out at Di María over Messi-PSG comments

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman slammed PSG's Ángel di María for claiming that "there are many possibilities" that Lionel Messi will move to Paris next season.

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Ángel di María has drawn the ire of Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman with his comments regarding Lionel Messi and his possible move to PSG.

Having long cut an unhappy figure at Camp Nou, indications are that Messi will leave Barcelona when his contract expires in June. The 33-year-old striker has been heavily linked with a move to PSG, where the club’s players and sporting director have only helped to intensify those links with their recent comments about the Argentine player.

The latest have come from his compatriot Ángel di María, who claimed that there is a big chance that the Barcelona superstar would play at Parc des Princes next season.

Asked about the possibility of playing with Messi next season, the Argentine midfielder said: "Yes, yes, I hope so. There are many possibilities. We have to be calm and things will develop."

Lionel Messi has been heavily linked with a move to PSG. (AFP7 vía Europa Press)

Di María’s comments come two months after those of Neymar, who in December claimed that he and Messi would “play together, for sure” next season; while in January, Leandro Paredes claimed that the club was “trying” to lure Messi to Paris.

Koeman responds to Di Maria comments

Di María’s words, which have come less than two weeks ahead of PSG and Barcelona’s meeting in the last 16 of the Champions League, have not gone down well with Barça coach Ronald Koeman, who has grown increasingly frustrated with the talk from Paris.

“It’s a lack of respect. Someone can be wrong in saying something like that," Koeman said. "It’s not fair, I don’t think it is respectful towards Barça to speak like that about one of our players. A lot of people from PSG talk about Leo, who plays for Barça. Besides from the fact that we have a tie against them.”

Koeman’s frustrations had also been previously ignited by PSG sporting director Leonardo, who said in January that "great players like Messi will always be on PSG’s list”.

Following Leonardo’s statement, Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta accused PSG of trying to “destabilise” Barcelona, who will look to do their talking on the pitch when the clubs meet in less than two weeks.