Pochettino plays the distraction

The coach knows that the arrival of Messi brings the Frenchman's departure closer, but hopes that PSG will be able to retain him. In Madrid, optimism about the signing grows.


The arrival of Messi to PSG, pending official but de facto an accomplished fact, leaves the Parisian team with an enviable attack, the one formed by Neymar, Mbappé and the Argentine. An exceptional trident in which it remains to be seen how its members would position themselves, since the Frenchman tends more and more to the position of center forward and that both Messi and the Brazilian, who began their careers as wingers, have been acquiring in the years past roles closer to those of a playmaker. And it would remain to find a place for Ángel di María, a relevant figure in the history of PSG, as well as Messi's personal friend.

But that will be, of course, if that trident is still united when the transfer market ends, on August 31 at 23:59:59 at night (both in France and in Spain). Mauricio Pochettino, PSG coach, trusts that his club will be able to retain Mbappé after the signing of Messi in order to have three exceptional figures in his attempt to conquer what the entity has been pursuing since he started his project from hands Sheikh Al Thani and Nasser Al Khelaifi: the Champions League. The achievement of the objective progresses, with PSG having reached the final in 2019-20 and the semifinals in 2020-21; in the first case they fell against Bayern, in the second against Guardiola's City. However, PSG wants to speed up the times and try to conquer the next edition, at the gates of the Qatar World Cup 2022, and for this it has resorted to the signing of Messi, a four-time winner of the tournament.

At the same press conference in which Pochettino was asked about PSG's possibilities of signing Messi, once it was official that he would not continue in Barcelona, he was faced with a question related to the possibilities that the arrival of the Argentine would suppose the departure from French. "No!" He snapped, with a smile on his face. The coach was in his role, who hopes that, from September 1, when he looks at the booth, he will be able to see Mbappé as a member of it. But Pochettino knows that the arrival of Messi, inevitably, brings the departure of Mbappé from PSG.

Madrid, optimistic with Mbappé

PSG is under the magnifying glass of French Ligue 1 and it has been published in the neighboring country that it needs to sell 180 million euros to balance accounts and thus avoid a penalty from the French championship. At the moment, he has barely entered nine million euros: seven for the transfer of Bakker to Leverkusen and two for the transfer of Areola to West Ham. The UEFA Financial Fair Play also plans on the French club, but in that case Al Khelaifi is more confident; After having helped Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA president, to quell the initial rebellion attempt by the Super League, PSG is counting on the control by the European body to be flexible, especially while the consequences of the pandemic continue to be noted in the accounts of clubs.

But, nevertheless, in Madrid every day they are more optimistic about the possibility that the signing of Mbappé could arrive this summer. The white club hopes that PSG will feel at some point the obligation to balance its salary mass, which with Messi will grow by more than 80 million, so as not to delve into losses that, since the coronavirus crisis began, exceed 300 million. Of course, Madrid will not take false steps: it will wait for a call from PSG, which knows that the whites are the first interested parties and also, Mbappé's dream destination.

Photos from as.com
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