'All great players are welcome at PSG' - Pochettino responds to Messi rumours

A Champions League crown remains atop the wish-list for the Ligue 1 powerhouse and the Barcelona skipper would go a long way to aiding that cause

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino has left the door open for the arrival of Barcelona icon Lionel Messi.

The French champions appointed the former Tottenham boss following the dismissal of Thomas Tuchel, with the club's hierarchy of the opinion that the German was not the right person to guide the club to domestic and – more importantly – Champions League glory.

Pochettino has a wealth of talent to choose from at his new side, with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe fronting a fearsome attacking line that also boasts the talents of Angel Di Maria.

However, with Messi having made clear that his future at Barcelona is very much up in the air, many feel that Manchester City and PSG are the only two clubs with the financial power to cover the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's wages.

And while Pochettino admitted that high quality players will always be welcomed at Parc des Princes, the 48-year-old added that rumours will be put to one side while he and his coaching staff find their feet in the French capital.

“We leave the rumours aside. All great players are welcome at PSG,” Pochettino replied in his first press conference as the Ligue 1 side's new boss as to whether there was any truth in the reports linking Messi with a move. 

“Father Christmas has been generous with me, I take this opportunity to thank president Nasser [Al-Khelaifi] and [sporting director] Leonardo for the trust and to be in this great club and back in this house. 

“It's one of the biggest clubs, if not the biggest in the world, so it's normal that there are rumours. We have just arrived so we leave them aside.”

Asked to expand on the new challenge facing him at Parc des Princes, Pochettino added: “PSG is one of the biggest clubs in the world. It's hard to compare with Tottenham because they are two very different clubs. I have incredible memories in London. But I'm focusing on our first game tomorrow, to win it. 

“Here I have the greatest players in the world and I am ready to welcome others.”

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