Mauricio Pochettino defends PSG over public pursuit of Lionel Messi

Mauricio Pochettino defends PSG over public pursuit of Lionel Messi and insists the club have NEVER ‘shown disrespect’ to Barcelona as he distances Ligue 1 giants from France Football’s controversial front page

Mauricio Pochettino has defended Paris Saint-Germain after the club was accused of disrespecting Barcelona in their pursuit of Lionel Messi.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman was highly critical of PSG after Angel Di Maria followed a number of the club’s players in saying there was a ‘big chance’ the French champions could sign Messi.

Koeman branded Di Maria’s comments ‘disrespectful’ given the 33-year-old, who is out of contract at the Nou Camp in the summer, is yet to decide on his future.

Mauricio Pochettino defends PSG over public pursuit of Lionel Messi

Mauricio Pochettino has defended PSG over claims the club have ‘disrespected’ Barcelona

Mauricio Pochettino defends PSG over public pursuit of Lionel Messi

PSG’s players such as Angel Di Maria have said Lionel Messi could make the move to Paris 

French weekly magazine France Football also sparked fury in the Barcelona camp when it mocked up a picture of Messi in a PSG shirt.

Pochettino moved to clear up the situation on Tuesday, insisting that PSG have done nothing wrong and that the club can’t control what players or the media say or do.

He said: ‘At no time have we shown disrespect.

Mauricio Pochettino defends PSG over public pursuit of Lionel Messi

Messi was been pictured in a PSG shirt on the front page of weekly magazine France Football

‘Players can talk, say what they think about other players. We have total respect for clubs. Do not mistake France Football for PSG.’ 

Koeman was also upset that players such as Di Maria were commenting so close to both sides meeting in the Champions League later this month.

Barcelona host PSG in the last-16 next Tuesday night ahead of the second leg in Paris early next month.

Mauricio Pochettino defends PSG over public pursuit of Lionel Messi

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has said PSG’s public pursuit of Messi hasn’t sat well with him 

Koeman said: ‘It’s disrespectful. It’s wrong to say such a thing and only heats up the Champions League game even more.

‘It’s not fair. I don’t think it’s respectful towards Barcelona to talk about a player of ours.

‘They talk about Leo a lot. He’s a Barcelona player, and we have a tie to play against them.’ 

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