New Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino refused to be drawn on Lionel Messi's future in an interview with Cadena SER on Tuesday.
PSG sporting director Leonardo said "great players like Messi are always on the club's list" this week with the Barça forward out of contract in the summer.
Asked about signing his fellow Argentine, Pochettino said: "I don't know if it's possible to sign Leo or now, anything I say can be misinterpreted. I have a lot of respect for the players in my team and those at other clubs."
Despite downplaying a deal for Messi, Pochettino assured PSG, like all of Europe's big clubs, are working hard on planning for next season and admitted he's "attentive" to Messi's situation at Barcelona, saying that "you always dream of having the best players."
What happened with Bartomeu?
Pochettino also confessed that, despite the rumours linking him with Barça when Ernesto Valverde was sacked in January 2020, "the reality is that there wasn't anything, they were rumours that became news. I have known (former Barça president Josep Maria) Bartomeu for years, when I was an Espanyol player. We saw each other at a bar, but nothing else."
The PSG coach also explained his comments from several years ago saying he's rather work on a farm than coach Barça.
"When I said that about the far, perhaps I went too far because I wanted to cut off (the rumours). I am a Perico, I'm an Espanyol man, it would be impossible to identify with Barça."