PSG were 'tempted' by Messi as Leonardo insists Neymar and Mbappe must stay

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Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo admitted the Ligue 1 champions were tempted to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, while he insisted Neymar and Kylian Mbappe must stay at the club.

Messi dropped a bombshell when he handed in a transfer request but the Barca captain and six-time Ballon d'Or champion will remain at Camp Nou for the 2020-21 season.

Manchester City were heavily linked with Messi, while PSG also emerged as a possible destination for the 33-year-old attacker.

"Today when you think about the financial situation it's complicated," Leonardo told Canal+ program Canal Football Club when asked if PSG were interested. 

"When we are told Messi wants to leave, we are tempted. You say to yourself, will it be f****** possible? They are players completely out of any discussion. 

"I don't know, David Beckham ended up at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi ending up in Paris? I don't know. 

"It's football, in the end, everyone's sitting at the table, everyone knows everything, and it's moving forward."

There has also been speculation regarding PSG's star duo Neymar and Mbappe following their memorable run to the UEFA Champions League final.

Neymar has often been linked with a return to Barca, while Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for Mbappe.

However, Leonardo said: "We want to continue with them. Everything is clear to everyone. We must continue with them.

"To have two players like that on the same team is huge. Messi and Ronaldo were each in their own club. We have the two best players in the world after Messi and Ronaldo."

Despite leading PSG to their first Champions League final, there has been uncertainty over Thomas Tuchel's future in Paris.

Former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri has been linked with a move to PSG, but Leonardo said the French powerhouse plan to continue with Tuchel.

"He did something fantastic. It's the best season in the club's history. We have time to talk about that," he added.

"We share a lot of things, we talk about the transfer market all the time. There is always a conversation about signing a player. Tuchel always validates the choice of players.

"We have a 10-month contract. Honestly, when I arrived, I could keep him or not. We spoke very clearly. I never contacted Allegri. I know him. We hope to do better this year.

"Every club today needs to sell. We made a big investment in Mauro Icardi. We have to be creative. The departures of the players were planned.

"We finished playing in August and not in May. We have until October 5 to recruit. But we have to look at the exit side before then."

Source Omnisport