Mauricio Pochettino reveals failed Lionel Messi loan as PSG transfer talk intensifies

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay now

Follow the major changes at the Nou Camp in our FREE Barca newsletter

Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his former club Espanyol once almost signed Lionel Messi on loan.

The Argentine coach started his managerial career with the Spanish club back in 2009 when Messi was already a star at Barcelona.

Pochettino had finished his playing career with Espanyol a few years earlier, and it was during that time he nearly became teammates with the rising talent.

Messi could well yet play under Pochettino if PSG are successful in luring him to the Parc des Princes this summer.

And Pochettino is keen to work with his compatriot, though refused to be drawn on the player's future.

Lionel Messi almost joined Espanyol on loan at the start of his career
(Image: DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Read More
Related Articles


  • Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal plus latest deals and gossip

Read More
Related Articles


  • Lionel Messi hit with two-match ban after lashing out as Barcelona vow to appeal decision

"Messi to PSG? No comment," Pochettino told El Larguero . " When I was at Espanyol or Southampton, my dream was to have the best players at the club and Messi came close to being loaned out to Espanyol.

"The deal was well advanced but he delivered a great display at the pre-season Trofeo Gamper and that was the end of that.

"We've met over the years in places such as London or in Italy. We both share the love for Newell's [Old Boys], as we both came through their academy and that is our common bond."

The pre-season performance Pochettino is referring to is likely to be the 2005 Joan Gamper victory, when an 18-year-old Messi left the pitch to a standing ovation after the match against Juventus.

Get the latest news straight into your inbox!

It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don't miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won't miss out.

To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

After the game then-Juve boss Fabio Capello hailed Messi and tried himself to loan the youngster, while Inter Milan attempted to sign him permanently.

Ex-Barca president Joan Laporta has since admitted the club faced a real possibility of losing their biggest prospect, but managed to fend off other clubs to keep hold of his services.

A similar scenario is now playing out this year, with Barcelona keen to convince Messi to see out his career at the club, while the likes of PSG and Man City are hopeful of landing him on a free transfer.

Pochettino added: "I'm aware of all that is going on [with Messi]. I've been watching everyone from West Ham to Valladolid and these days you need to keep your eyes on every team.

Where will Messi be playing his football next season? Have your say below.

Mauricio Pochettino is keen to work with Messi at PSG if the opportunity arises
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

"I really don't want to talk about Messi as everything then gets blown out of proportion."

PSG sporting director Leonardo has also opted to remain tight-lipped about links with the Barcelona captain, but admitted there is interest from their side.

“Great players like Messi will always be on PSG's list," Leonardo told France Football . "But this is of course not the time to talk about it, or to dream about it.

"But we are seated at the large table of those clubs who are following the matter closely. In fact, no, we are not yet seated, but our chair is reserved just in case. Four months in football is an eternity, especially in this period."