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Mauricio Pochettino welcome big players at PSG

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New manager Mauricio Pochettino has said “any big player in the world is always welcome at Paris St-Germain” as the club continues to be linked with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

Pochettino was asked about Messi, as well as Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen —his former players at Tottenham—during his first news conference.

“To be honest, we are not talking about that,” said the Argentine.

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“They are rumours, and the reality is that we have just arrived.”

Last summer, Argentina forward Messi said he wanted to exercise a clause in his contract which he said allowed him to leave Barca on a free transfer.

But the Spanish giants refused, saying the 33-year-old’s 700 million euro (£624 million) release clause had to be met.

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Messi continues to be linked with PSG and Manchester City, but Pochettino—who was appointed by the French champions on January 2 — would not be drawn on any future moves.

“We are going to have time to talk in the future, but any big player in the world is always welcome at Paris St-Germain,” said the 48-year-old.

“A club like PSG, with structures in place, is always keeping an eye on a wide range of players. I think we’ll make the best decisions for the club and for the team.

“We are trying to adapt to a new club with meetings, training, preparing for the game against Saint-Etienne—which is the main objective.”

Pochettino spent two years in Paris as a player and succeeds Thomas Tuchel, who left the club over Christmas after winning two league titles, the French Cup and French League Cup.

PSG also reached the Champions League final for the first time last season, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

“Father Christmas was good to me to give me this opportunity,” Pochettino added.

“We are very much aware of the size of the challenge here. There is big pressure because this is one of the biggest clubs in the world.”—BBC

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