Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he thought membership sporting director Leonardo was enjoying a joke on him when he was first instructed that Lionel Messi‘s signing was potential.
“Leonardo called me and said: ‘The possibility is there. Would you like it or not?’ The good thing is that he called me to ask. I said to myself: ‘Is it a question?’ I thought it was a joke, no? Of course,” Pochettino said.
“I told him: ‘Do we have to go and get him? Do I have to drive the van?’ And that is when the negotiation started. From then on Leonardo would call me every night to tell me how the situation was.”
Messi, 34, had agreed a new five-year contract with Barca, along with his earlier deal having expired on June 30. However, that contract would have meant Barca’s wage invoice would stand at 110% of their income.
“Everyone had assumed that Messi would continue at Barcelona,” Pochettino mentioned.
“Many clubs, if not all clubs, dreamt of having Messi, with him being a free agent. From the moment that PSG showed an interest, Leo wanted to come here. Everything happened very fast. We must highlight the work done by Leonardo, by our president and all the club executives that in two or three days were able to complete the signing of the best player in the world.”
Leonardo, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and membership executives, in the meantime, are nonetheless engaged on convincing Kylian Mbappe to stay on the membership past subsequent summer time when his contract expires.
“Who can’t think that PSG wouldn’t want him [Mbappe] to continue here for many more years?” Pochettino added.
“The club will try to convince him and seduce him to continue here.”
A protracted-term goal of Real Madrid, Mbappe confirmed that he had wanted to leave PSG in July, however the Ligue 1 giants refused to promote him regardless of figuring out the France striker might signal for a new membership on Jan. 1, as he shall be a free agent subsequent summer time.
Mbappe’s mom, Fayza Lamari, lately mentioned her son is in talks to sign a new deal with PSG regardless of intense curiosity from Madrid.
“He is clear about things and loves football,” Pochettino mentioned. “He is 22 but is very mature to manage this type of situations regarding his future. I have no doubt in my mind that Kylian can face any challenge that the future brings him.
“You can not underestimate soccer gamers. They have their entourage, their advisors, however it’s them that take their very own selections. Kylian will take the choice he must take, and the membership will do every thing potential to maintain Kylian as a result of we’re speaking about among the finest gamers on this planet. He is 22 and has nice potential.”
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