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Pochettino reveals he was close to coach Messi

Wednesday20 January 2021 | 9:06
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The newly appointed PSG boss has revealed he was close to sealing a loan deal for Lionel Messi during his time at Espanyol as he remained silent on the rumors linking the Argentine superstar to PSG.

As

Messi

has refused to comment on his future at

Barcelona

, the Ligue 1 champions are leading the race for the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner. However, presidential candidate,

Joan Laporta

, hopes that the pair's history from his previous rule at Camp Nou will help to convince him to extend his stay at the club.

Although

Mauricio Pochettino

kept his lips sealed regarding the transfer rumors, recalled that the pair might have already worked together at

Espanyol

when he was just a teenager if it wasn’t because of a scintillating pre-season performance from

Messi

.

"Messi to PSG? No comment. When I was at Espanyol or Southampton, my dream was to have the best players at the club and Messi came close to being loaned out to Espanyol,"

the ex-Tottenham boss explained to El Larguero.

"The deal was well advanced but he delivered a great display at the pre-season Trofeo Gamper and that was the end of that.

"We've met over the years in places such as London or in Italy. We both share the love for Newell's, as we both came through their academy and that is our common bond.

“I'm aware of all that is going on [with Messi]. I've been watching everyone from West Ham to Valladolid and these days you need to keep your eyes on every team.

"I really don't want to talk about Messi as everything then gets blown out of proportion."

Regarding

Kylian Mbappe’s

future at

Paris Saint-Germain

, whose contract expires in June 2022, the Argentine said:

“The club are working on retaining the best and he has a huge future ahead of him," Pochettino said of his charge.

"What coach wouldn't want to work with Mbappe?

“[Mbappe and Neymar] have both welcomed me and are open to a new footballing proposition and I can only thank them for the warm welcome”.


source: SportMob