‘You say to yourself, will it be f***ing possible?… David Beckham ended up at Paris Saint-Germain’: PSG were ‘tempted’ to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi, says sporting director Leonardo
- PSG sporting director Leonardo admits they were interested in Lionel Messi deal
- Messi hoped to leave Barcelona on a free in the summer before making U-turn
- Leonardo compared ambition to French side’s capture of David Beckham in 2013
- He also admitted it was tough allowing new Chelsea star Thiago Silva to leave
Paris Saint-Germain have admitted they considered signing Lionel Messi this summer once they found out he was willing to leave Barcelona.
Messi stunned the world when he admitted he wanted to leave the Nou Camp on a free transfer, only for the LaLiga giants to insist clubs would have to trigger his £630million release clause to sign him.
Not wanting to fight his club in court, Messi revoked his transfer request and will now remain part of new manager Ronald Koeman’s rebuild for this campaign.
Lionel Messi had requested to leave Barcelona on a free transfer earlier in the summer
But after being unable to secure a move, he pledged his future to the Nou Camp last week
PSG’s sporting director Leonardo has admitted though, that the Champions League finalists explored the possibility of signing the Argentine forward, comparing the move to when the club landed David Beckham at the end of his career in 2013.
‘Today when you think about the financial situation it’s complicated,’ Leonardo told Telefoot when asked if the French champions were interested.
‘When we are told Messi wants to leave, we are tempted. You say to yourself, will it be f***ing possible? They are players completely out of any discussion.
PSG sporting director Leonardo admitted they weighed up the possibility of signing Messi
‘I don’t know, David Beckham ended up at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi ending up in Paris? I don’t know.
‘It’s football, in the end, everyone’s sitting at the table, everyone knows everything, and it’s moving forward.’
Leonardo also played a role in seeing PSG favourites Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani leave this summer following the expiry of their contracts.
Leonardo compared the transfer to PSG’s capture of David Beckham (pictured) back in 2013
Silva has gone on to join Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and Leonardo admits it was not an easy choice letting the experienced defender leave the club.
‘Decisions over players like this are not easy. They are players who have done everything for the club, absolute idols,’ he said.
‘It’s hard to say if one year more, or less, would be better, or just to stop there.
‘This group, and what they did in the second half of the year, is great. We want to keep the group together.’