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30 Jan, 2021 12:32

‘I find it inappropriate’: Would-be Barcelona chief blasts Paris again over Messi move as Pochettino claims ‘there are no saints’

‘I find it inappropriate’: Would-be Barcelona chief blasts Paris again over Messi move as Pochettino claims ‘there are no saints’

Barcelona presidential hopeful Joan Laporta has reiterated his suspicions of PSG as they eye a move for Lionel Messi, accusing the French giants of a "lack of experience" and a potential breach of financial rules to seal the deal.

Laporta, who oversaw two Champions League titles during his previous premiership at Barca between 2003 and 2010, has accepted that the likes of Messi will "always" be targeted by the mega-rich French giants but warned that now was no time to "think" or "dream" about a potential switch.

Iconic striker Messi would almost certainly become the world's highest-paid player were he to move to Paris, and was even rumored to have been taking French lessons earlier this week.

“I don't know if they can sign him," Laporta told L'Equipe, speaking as his bid to become president at the Camp Nou again in March continues.

"Maybe yes if they continue to break Financial Fair Play [FFP] rules… from what I know, they had significant losses last year. I would be curious to know if they will ignore the rules of FFP to recruit him.

“If that happens, I hope that UEFA and FIFA will react firmly and that the Court of Arbitration for Sport will not hold back when it comes to delivering its verdict.

"I find it inappropriate. It shows their lack of experience at this level. They still have a lot to learn in the world of football."

PSG are bankrolled by Qatar Sports Investments and have been known for the lavish outlays that have taken them to the brink of winning the Champions League, including spening around $263 million to buy Neymar from Barca in 2017, who is expected to earn around $350 million across his five-year contract.

The club won an appeal against a UEFA investigation into an alleged FFP breach in 2019, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport sided with them.

New Paris manager Mauricio Pochettino said he would be "misunderstood" over anything he said about potentially adding Messi to his squad.

"I respect players who belong to other teams, because [the teams] can get angry and I understand why," he told Marca.

“We understand that in the world of football there are no saints; nobody can complain that each club does its best to improve the team."

Also on rt.com Barcelona presidential hopeful Laporta blasts ‘disrespectful’ PSG over Messi overtures, threatens FIFA action