FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is slamming Paris Saint-Germain player Angel Di Maria for comments he made about Lionel Messi. According to Di Maria, there is a "big chance" that the Barcelona captain may join him at the French capital at the end of the season.
A move to the Parc des Princes has been one of the more persistent rumours surrounding Messi's fate. However, there are still several months left in the Argentine's contract at Camp Nou, and Koeman thinks Di Maria's comments are uncalled for.
"It's disrespectful," said Koeman, in an interview on Wednesday. "It's wrong to say such a thing, and it only heats up the Champions League game even more. It's not fair. I don't think it's respectful towards Barcelona to talk about a player of ours," he added.
Koeman is of course referring to the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash between PSG and FC Barcelona. The two European powerhouse sides will face each other in the first leg of their tie on Tuesday, February 16.
Before Di Maria spoke about the possibility of teaming up with his fellow Argentine in Paris, Another PSG player, Neymar Jr., also spoke about Messi joining the club. The pair has a close relationship from playing together in Barcelona, and Neymar could prove to be a factor in attracting Messi.
"They talk about Leo a lot. He's a Barcelona player, and we have a tie to play against them," said Koeman, emphasising once again that he's not happy about the speculations surrounding his star player.
Nevertheless, if Barcelona does end up failing to extend Messi's contract, they will have a massive rebuilding project at their hands. Last night's Copa del Rey victory against Granada may have given Frenchman Antoine Griezmann the opportunity to make his case heard.
He scored twice in Barca's 3-5 victory in extra time, after they were trailing 2-0 with just three minutes left in regulation time.
Griezmann scored in the 88th minute before Jordi Alba found the equaliser in stoppage time. They were able to force extra time and kept the momentum to score three more goals. Both Griezmann and Alba contributed once more, with Frenkie de Jong also chalking up a goal.
"He has always worked hard to change things, to have more luck," Koeman said about Griezmann. "With him playing like this, we're even more dangerous."