Patrick Kluivert coy on Paris Saint-Germain interest in Lionel Messi


PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain director of football Patrick Kluivert has suggested the French champions might consider a move for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in the future if the Argentina international grows unsettled in Catalonia.

Speaking with Spanish and French journalists in the mixed zone after PSG’s 4-0 thrashing of Luis Enrique’s men in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg clash, the former Barcelona and Netherlands striker acknowledged Messi’s current happiness but refused to completely rule out a future swoop.

“Messi? Never say never,” Kluivert said. “The football world might want that but I think Messi is currently happy in Barcelona.

“Am I going to try to sign him? I never said that. He is like Neymar, Messi is a player every team in the world would like to acquire.”

Lionel Messi has won the Champions League four times with Barcelona.

Kluivert then moved to praise the PSG players after they ripped their La Liga opponents apart and although he was delighted by the result and the performance, he insisted that the tie is not over yet.

“We played a great game,” Kluivert said. “All the players were at 100 percent. When we play like that, our opponents struggle. Bravo to the team, but we are not qualified yet.

“When you win 4-0 against one of the best teams in the world, we are allowed to be satisfied with ourselves. We have to enjoy this moment and then focus on the match against Toulouse.”

PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi was also thrilled by the result and praised his players and staff for a job well done ahead of the second leg.

“It is a really great night. I am proud of everyone, the coaching staff, the players, everyone did a great job,” Al-Khelaifi said. “Before the game, we dreamed of a result like this.

“Yesterday we got the bad news that Thiago [Silva] was out but I felt something within the squad. The atmosphere was magnificent, it was a perfect night.

“However, we are only at half-time in this match — we have to keep working for the return leg.”

PSG now have Toulouse, Marseille, and Nancy in Ligue 1, as well as Chamois Niortais in the Coupe de France before they travel to Barcelona for the second leg.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.

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