Koeman says let PSG talk about Messi

·2-min read

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said he no longer cares about Paris Saint-Germain discussing their desire to sign Lionel Messi but expressed his surprise at Lyon coach Rudi Garcia getting involved in the matter.

Sporting director Leonardo, Neymar and Angel Di Maria have all spoken about the French club's desire to sign the Barca captain.

Last week, Koeman was irked by Di Maria talking of his wish to play with Messi next season, accusing the French side of trying to crank up the pressure on the Catalans in the lead-up to their Champions League clash.

In December, Neymar declared that he would like to play next season with his best friend and former Barca teammate Messi again.

Lyon boss Garcia then spoke out by saying it was rich of Koeman to criticise PSG for talking about the prospect of signing Messi after he had spoken openly of Barca's pursuit of Lyon forward Memphis Depay.

"I don't know why PSG are doing this (talking about Messi) but if they want to talk about Leo, they can," Koeman told a news conference before Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at Sevilla.

"But now the Lyon coach is getting involved, it seems like he wants to raise his profile in the media.

"It's not important to me.

"What we have to do is prepare our match against Sevilla, then Alaves and then PSG and we'll see what happens."

Messi has been free to negotiate with rival clubs since last month as his contract with Barca, the club he joined at a 13-years-old, expiring in June.

Barca have been dealt three fresh injury setbacks for the Sevilla game, with right back Sergino Dest, striker Martin Braithwaite and midfielder Miralem Pjanic all out in addition to Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo and Philippe Coutinho.

"I prefer to use players that are 100 per cent fit," Koeman said of his decision to call up B team trio Konrad de la Fuente, Alex Collado and Ilaix Moriba.

"It's not the time to take risks. We have eight players out but all problems have a solution."