'It’s not fair...': Ronald Koeman slams PSG's Di Maria for trying to unsettle Lionel Messi

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 04, 2021, 07:03 PM(IST)

Ronald Koeman Photograph:( AFP )

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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has slammed Paris Saint-Germain star Angel Di Maria for allegedly trying to unsettle Lionel Messi ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 encounter between the two sides.  

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has slammed Paris Saint-Germain star Angel Di Maria for allegedly trying to unsettle Lionel Messi ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 encounter between the two sides.  

Messi is out of contract after the end of the ongoing 2020-21 season and is free to sign pre-contract with non-Spanish clubs with Paris Saint-Germain one of the clubs interested in the Argentine forward. When asked about links of Messi to PSG, Di Maria sounded optimistic as the Argentine said that he hopes PSG sign Messi.  

The comments by Di Maria has irked Koeman, who said that the statement "seems to be lack of respect" while terming it as disrespectful towards Barcelona.  

"Yes, yes, I hope so," Di Maria said when asked whether Messi could join him in Paris. "There are many possibilities. We have to be calm and things will develop." 

 "It seems to me to be a lack of respect," Koeman said.  

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"It’s wrong to say such of thing, especially ahead of the Champions League game. It’s not fair, and I don’t think it’s respectful toward Barcelona to speak like that about a player who’s ours. They talk a lot about Leo, who plays for Barcelona. Besides, we have a tie against them." 

Messi had asked Barcelona to allow him to leave the club last summer but the Argentine ended up staying with the Spanish giants following a public spat with the club's board. 

Recently, Koeman had said he was not confident about keeping Messi at Nou Camp. 

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"I’m not confident about that," Koeman told The Athletic.  

"I’m hopeful, yes, about this because he’s still a great player and he’s still winning matches for us, for the team. I’m enjoying being his coach, if you look at his qualities every day in the training sessions, it’s incredible. Of course, he came as a young kid to Barcelona. And I still don’t see Leo Messi in another shirt other than the Barca shirt." 

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