PSG boss Leonardo responds to Neymar’s Messi plea

Lionel Messi Neymar

Sporting director Leonardo has played down speculation linking Paris Saint-Germain with a sensational move for Lionel Messi.

Messi is into the final year of his contract at Camp Nou and, having expressed his desire to leave earlier this year, it seems a new deal is unlikely, meaning he would be able to leave on a free transfer.

Brazil attacker Neymar revealed last week that he would love to be reunited with Messi, having played alongside him to devastating affect at the Camp Nou between 2013 and 2017.

That inevitably sparked frenzied rumours linking PSG with a move for Barca’s all-time top scorer, though Leonardo was keen to downplay the significance of Neymar’s remarks.

“No. You know, it’s normal for Neymar to say that to an Argentinian journalist. He had to talk about Messi. It’s normal,” he told Canal+ .

“We have to maintain respect for others. He’s a Barcelona player. When somebody talks about our players, we are not happy. So we don’t touch other people’s players. Now is not the time to think about the transfer window.

“We are very happy with the squad we have. We are thinking of our season and the end of the first part of the season, which was very complicated.

“We have to stay focused on our goals such as qualifying for last 16 in the Champions League. And also we have to think about Ligue 1, and avoid finding ourselves in a complicated situation. Let’s keep our focus.”

Leonardo’s comments struck a similar tone to that of PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who was also keen to distance himself from an imminent bidwhen he was asked about a move for Messi last week.

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