Ronald Koeman, head coach of Barcelona, denied Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo’s statements confirming they would be interested in signing Lionel Messi.
On Monday, Leonardo said PSG has a seat “reserved” at the table of clubs who “follow closely” the developments around the future of Messi.
The six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or is in the final six months of his Barca deal and could leave after this season on a free transfer.
Koeman, however, insists that it is natural for top players to be coveted by other clubs, adding that he could never pretend to have no interest in getting at his disposal the star forward of PSG.
On Wednesday, he told reporters, “If you asked me if I was interested in Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe, I would say yes.” I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future; I can’t give them an opinion. We are trying to have the best possible team.
In Barca’s Supercopa de Espana’s final loss to Athletic Bilbao, Messi is serving a two-match ban for his red card, although the club is appealing against the penalty.”
The club told me it was two games, the club wouldn’t agree [with the penalty] and we’ll see,” Koeman said.
“Some items can be defended, and ideally, the penalty can be minimized. If not, without Leo, we have two games to play.
We trained, Leo trained with a lot of excitement, and I saw nothing unusual. Everyone is sad about the outcome of the Supercopa, but we’re on the road to better things, particularly defensively. In the center of this, Leo is right.”
Barca will face a Copa del Rey clash on Thursday at Cornella, the squad that surprised Atletico Madrid’s LaLiga leaders in the previous round.