Messi distances himself from PSG, Di Maria and Neymar comments
According to Cadena Ser, Lionel Messi wants to distance himself from recent statements from PSG that have intensified speculation linking him with the Parisian club.
According to a report by Spanish radio channel Cadena SER, even Messi himself has grown tired of the constant winks in his direction from Paris and wants to distance himself from the recent statements made by PSG-based compatriot Angel Di Maria, who claimed in a post-match interview that “there is a big chance” that the Barcelona forward could join the Ligue 1 club next season.
Di María’s comments have 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 stated that PSG was “trying” to lure Messi to Paris.
“As we have learned at SER, Leo is distancing himself from what Di María, Paredes and Neymar have said because it seems that in every PSG mixed zone interview these days, a player will come out saying that there is a good chance that Messi will join the Parisian team,” said SER journalist and presenter Manu Carreño on the El Laguero radio programme this Friday.
“Neymar started, Paredes followed and now it’s Di María. Leonardo (PSG sporting director) said it in an interview and even Messi could now end up looking like an accomplice.”
Carreño also cited recent comments by Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman and presidential candidate Joan Laporta, who both spoke of PSG’s lack of respect. However the SER broadcaster claimed that “Barça did the same or something very similar, speaking of the interest they had in signing Neymar when he was a PSG player.”
Koeman responds to Di Maria comments
The most recent comments from Di María, 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 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, presidential hopeful 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.