Is Messi ready for PSG debut on Friday? Pochettino gives his opinion

Robin Bairner
PSG forward Lionel Messi

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino has given an update over the possibility of Lionel Messi playing his first Ligue 1 match on Friday against Brest.

Messi arrived at the club on 10 August after not playing for a month following his exploits with Argentina, who he helped to win the Copa America.

It has been forecast that he will not play for PSG until at least a week on Sunday, when they travel to Reims, though the clamour for him to turn out in his new colours earlier is evident.

Pochettino, though, is not committing to Messi featuring at Stade Francis Le Ble.

“We’re still analysing whether Messi will travel,” Pochettino said. “We’ll see.

“Everyone knows what he brings to the team and what Leo stands for. He’s very positive. He adapts very quickly to this squad and we’re happy with his contribution.”

We’ll take into account both physical and football criteria. We analyse everything that makes up the dynamic of the group
- Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino took a similarly tight-lipped line regarding the club’s other international players, including Gianluigi Donnarumma, another summer arrival.

“We’ll take into account both physical and football criteria. We analyse everything that makes up the dynamic of the group,” he said, refereeing also to Marquinhos, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes.

Pochettino firm on Mbappe

Real Madrid transfer target Kylian Mbappe playing for PSG in Ligue 1, 2020/21

Pochettino also addressed Kylian Mbappe’s links to Real Madrid and said there is no possibility of him departing to Real Madrid this summer.

“He’s working hard to have a good season,” the coach said. “We’re not thinking about what’s been said in recent weeks. He’s our player and I see his staying during this season.”

He did not suggest, however, that the World Cup winner is close to signing a new deal.

“My conversations with Kylian are about football,” Pochettino said. “He still has a year left on his contract even if he doesn’t extend it. He is a PSG player.”

Mbappe has been in impressive form thus far in Ligue 1, securing two assists in two games.