Mauricio Pochettino: Big players like Lionel Messi and Dele Alli welcome at Paris Saint-Germain

Mauricio Pochettino asked about prospect of Paris Saint-Germain signing Lionel Messi and Dele Alli among others in unveiling as head coach of French champions; Barcelona forward Messi free to speak to clubs outside of Spain

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino during the UEFA Champions League Group B match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 22, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Tottenham. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire 2:15
New Paris Saint Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino says that the club is open to any big player in the world.

Mauricio Pochettino says Paris Saint-Germain would welcome any of the world's best players, with Lionel Messi and Dele Alli both being linked with moves to the French champions.

Barcelona forward Messi is free to speak to clubs outside of Spain, with his contract at Nou Camp due to expire on June 30.

PSG already boast World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Messi's former Barcelona team-mate Neymar, but former Tottenham and Southampton boss Pochettino's arrival has increased speculation over transfer targets.

Alli has been linked with a reunion with Pochettino during the January transfer window, despite Tottenham insisting they are not looking to sell or loan out the midfielder.

Speaking at his PSG unveiling as head coach, Pochettino said: "Any big player in the world is always welcome at Paris Saint-Germain."

Lionel Messi (AP)
Image: Lionel Messi has enjoyed a near two-decade-long association with Barcelona

Pochettino, who has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham in November 2019, has signed a deal until June 30 2022, with the option of an extra year.

The Argentine, 48, added discussions with the club hierarchy over possible movement in the transfer market would come to light "in the future" as he prepares for his first match in charge against Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 on Wednesday.

"We haven't had time to talk about [transfers]," he added.

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"Since January, when we arrived at Paris Saint-Germain, was a crazy period for us to try and adapt to a new club, a lot of meetings, training sessions and to prepare for tomorrow's match."

Mauricio Pochettino and Dele Alli (AP)
Image: PSG tried to sign Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli last summer

Pochettino also downplayed any possible reunion with ex-Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is deemed surplus to requirements at Inter Milan.

PSG will resume the Ligue 1 season after a short winter break third in the table and host Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League in February and March.

Mauricio Pochettino
Image: Mauricio Pochettino has replaced Thomas Tuchel at the Parc des Princes

Pochettino, who played for PSG between 2001 and 2003, said it was difficult to compare the challenges of managing PSG and Tottenham because he cannot be "objective" with Spurs.

He led Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019, where they lost to Liverpool, and was sacked five months later, with the club 14th in the Premier League, and replaced by Jose Mourinho.

"Every single club is different," Pochettino explained. "I know very well that Paris Saint-Germain is one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"Of course Tottenham, today, is too. It is an amazing club and of course we gave unbelievable memories there. It is difficult to compare because we are in France and Tottenham is an English club.

"It is difficult to be objective with Tottenham. It is still in our hearts and we love Tottenham. I think it is a relationship that is never going to stop, we are always going to think about them.

"But for now it is time to be focused 100 per cent on Paris Saint-Germain."

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Could Alli join Poch at PSG?

preview image 2:45
Speaking on The Transfer Show, Dharmesh Sheth and Kaveh Solhekol discuss the chances of Dele Alli joining his former manager Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint Germain.

Speaking on The Transfer Show, Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth said: "If PSG and Mauricio Pochettino were to make some sort of loan bid or a permanent bid for Dele Alli, I don't think that on its own it would be enough for Tottenham to say, 'fine, Dele Alli can go', because of the stance that they have taken.

"But if a PSG bid came in coupled with Dele Alli agitating Tottenham and saying I want to rejoin Mauricio Pochettino and see what I can do in another country at PSG, then I think Tottenham would have a decision to make.

"The way Tottenham have approached this has put all of the onus on Dele Alli. If he is to try and create some kind of noise around a move it is going to have to come from Dele Alli himself."

Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol said: "I think if Mauricio Pochettino wants to sign one of his former players it might be easier for him to sign Christian Eriksen from Inter Milan."

"Is Mauricio Pochettino really going to start his time managing PSG by going back and getting players out of favour? Players that he knows well, players that he has worked with, but that are out of favour at Spurs and Inter Milan. I am not so sure."

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