PSG showing no respect for Barca by talking about Messi - Koeman

Ronald Koeman has accused Paris Saint-Germain of trying to crank up the pressure on Barcelona ahead of its Champions League clash.

Lionel Messi looks dejected after Granada's first goal in a Copa del Rey contest on Wednesday. - REUTERS

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has accused Paris St Germain of trying to crank up the pressure on his side ahead of its looming Champions League clash later this month by talking up the prospect of Lionel Messi joining its club.

Angel di Maria became the latest member of PSG to envisage the six-times world player of the year heading to the French capital when his Barca contract runs out in June, saying on Wednesday he “wished” he could play with Messi at PSG.

PSG’s Brazilian forward and former Barca player Neymar said back in November he wished to play alongside Messi again, while sporting director Leonardo said last month that the French side had a seat at the table of clubs wishing to sign the Argentine.

“I think it is a lack of respect that so many people at PSG are talking about Messi when he is still a Barca player,” Koeman said after Barca’s 5-3 win at Granada in the Copa del Rey.

“They are trying to influence the game.”

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Barca hosts PSG in a Champions League last-16 first leg on February 16 before the return game in Paris on March 10. The Catalans pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the competition by beating PSG 6-1 in a last-16 second leg in 2017 to progress after losing the first leg 4-0.

Di Maria, Messi’s Argentina team-mate, is also down to the final few months of his contract but after scoring in a 3-0 Ligue 1 win over Nimes on Wednesday, he was asked if he wished to stay at PSG and for Messi to join it too.

“I wish. I think there are many chances of that, but I have to stay calm, think about myself and then see what happens,” he said.

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