PSG boss Tuchel expects Messi to stay at Barcelona
Paris St-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel says Lionel Messi is “very welcome” at the club – but expects the forward to remain at Barcelona.
Tuchel’s French champions lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in a tightly contested Champions League final on Sunday.
“What coach says no to Messi?” Tuchel told BT Sport. “I think Messi finishes his career in Barcelona. He is Mr Barcelona.”
It is thought Messi, 33, has never been closer to leaving the Nou Camp.
The Spanish giants’ season ended in a humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat by Bayern.
Messi is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer with 634 goals in 731 games and has won four Champions Leagues, 10 La Liga titles and six Ballons d’Or.
Qatari-owned PSG are among the few clubs in world football with the financial capacity to meet his buyout clause of 700m euros (£627.96m).
“We decided not to talk about transfers in this period,” said Tuchel. “We will sit together in the next days. We have many things to do to keep the level of the squad.”
PSG have won the Ligue 1 title in seven of the past eight seasons, but it is in Europe’s elite competition where owners Qatar Sports Investments measure success.
They had not previously gone further than the quarter-finals of the Champions League since their takeover in 2011 – despite spending a combined 402m euros (£362m) on forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe alone.
Neither Mbappe nor Neymar were able to find a way past Bayern, but Tuchel said he was “proud” of the Brazilian for playing “a match with an incredible capacity” – adding it was “a miracle” Mbappe was available at all following an ankle injury.
Speaking on PSG’s plans for the summer transfer window, Tuchel added: “We lost lots of players for this campaign and we lose now Thiago Silva and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting [who are out of contract].
“We need to use the transfer window now to make the squad wider. The campaign will be very demanding without any breaks. We need to build a strong, strong squad.”
PSG play their first game of the new Ligue 1 season against Lens on Saturday, after the French top flight made its return on Friday – 167 days after the 2019-20 campaign ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic.