Xavi has explained that Barcelona will always welcome Lionel Messi back while he is coach of the Blaugrana.

Messi left Barca last year in a move that stunned the world of football, with the Spanish giants unable to afford to fulfil the terms of a new contract that had been all but agreed with the 34-year-old.

That meant Messi could leave as a free agent and he joined Paris Saint-Germain, though his switch to the French capital has not quite hit the expected heights just yet. 

PSG look set to cruise to the Ligue 1 title yet fell to a humbling defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16.

Messi, who will miss PSG's clash with Monaco this weekend due to illness, has scored just seven goals in all competitions.

However, along with Kylian Mbappe, he does top the assists chart in Ligue 1 with 10 so far, while his 48 chances created ranks him as the most creative player in PSG's squad in the French top flight.

There has been speculation that Messi could leave PSG at the end of the season and though it seems unlikely that the Parisians would be willing to lose him and Mbappe, who is out of contract and seems set to join Madrid, Xavi would not turn down the opportunity to be reunited with his former team-mate, whether that be as a sensational transfer or simply as a visitor.

"Messi has earned having the doors open to Barca," Xavi told a news conference ahead of El Clasico on Sunday.

"As long as I'm the coach here, if he wants to come every day to watch training or talk to the coach, what he's given us is priceless, he's the best player in history.

"He deserves a big tribute from the club. But today he has a contract with PSG, I think he signed for two years."

Mauricio Pochettino is refusing to look beyond the end of Paris Saint-Germain's season as his future at the club hangs in the balance.

The PSG head coach saw his team throw away a 2-0 aggregate lead in the final half-hour of their Champions League last-16 clash with Real Madrid.

That shock slump from a dominant position has cast doubt on whether Pochettino should be the man to lead another bid for the trophy the club's Qatari owners crave above all others.

Pochettino remains haunted by the 3-2 aggregate defeat, saying on Saturday it would be "difficult to get that calmness to sleep again and get it out of our heads".

The former Tottenham boss is reportedly being considered as a candidate for the Manchester United job, which is due to become vacant when interim boss Ralf Rangnick makes way at the end of the season.

But for now, Pochettino says he is focused on delivering a 10th Ligue 1 title for the Parisians. That is practically a fait accompli, given they headed into this weekend with a 15-point lead over nearest rivals Marseille and Nice.

Pochettino told a news conference, ahead of Sunday's game at Monaco: "It's not easy to forget what happened in the Champions League, but I think we need to move on and need to win every single game.

"Of course, there's a feeling of sadness about the situation, based on what we experienced. The first disappointment is for the players and for all of us, fans included.

"There are many things that come into play, but we can use it as a source of motivation going forward. You cannot stop in football.

"You have to keep competing, you have to achieve the targets that are still available and treat them as a priority. We have to clinch the club's 10th Ligue 1 title, that is our main target."

Pochettino, whose contract runs to the end of next season, added: "As for the future, I am just thinking about today and tomorrow, I am not thinking about the long term.

"We have a responsibility to finish this season as well as we can. We will see what decisions the club takes at the end of the season, and what way the club wants to project into the future."

Pochettino knows the Champions League is PSG's ultimate target. PSG's owners, Qatar Sports Investments, have hired a string of top coaches in their bid to realise that ambition, with Pochettino following Thomas Tuchel, Unai Emery, Laurent Blanc and Carlo Ancelotti into the role of head coach.

It would come as little surprise if they move for another leading boss at the end of the current campaign.

"Our intention is to create competitive teams to be able to win. We analyse things at the end of the season," Pochettino said.

"We will see which decisions are made to try to recreate that excitement and motivation to have the competitive team that we need to compete for the biggest honours in the world. Which in this case is the Champions League, which is what everyone at Paris Saint-Germain wants."

Lionel Messi's stop-start Paris Saint-Germain career has stalled again, with the superstar forward ruled out of Sunday's game at Monaco by illness.

The Argentinian was absent from training on Saturday due to flu, and PSG have confirmed he is out of their plans for the fixture.

PSG came into the weekend with a 15-point lead over nearest rivals Marseille and Nice at the top of Ligue 1, meaning Messi remains on course to land a major trophy in his first season at the Parc des Princes.

However, the former Barcelona captain, who scored a record 672 goals for the Catalan giants, has struggled to make the impact he would have wanted in the French capital.

To date, he has only two Ligue 1 goals from 18 appearances, although he has managed 10 assists and hit the woodwork eight times in the competition. Injuries and illness have hampered Messi's progress, and now PSG will hope his latest absence is a short one.

Without Messi, PSG still have a substantial attacking threat. Kylian Mbappe, who began his career at Monaco, has scored nine goals in eight games against his former employer in Ligue 1, netting more only against Dijon (11).

Indeed, Mbappe has scored PSG's last five goals against Monaco in the competition.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino is set to take charge of his 50th game as a coach in Ligue 1. He averages 2.29 points per game in the French top flight.

Only his two predecessors at PSG, Unai Emery and Thomas Tuchel, have a better have a better points-per-game record in the history of the league (based on a win being worth three points) – both with 2.37 points per game.

Manchester United's hopes of silverware this season are officially over and focus is now turning towards the 2022-23 campaign.

The Red Devils are left focusing on their top-four battle in the Premier League following elimination to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16 this week.

That has surely ended Ralf Rangnick's hopes of landing the managerial position full time, though it remains to be seen who will be in the Old Trafford hot seat come next term.


TOP STORY – UNITED RAMP UP MANAGERIAL SEARCH

The likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag and Thomas Tuchel have each been touted as contenders to replace Rangnick, but another name may now be in the frame.

According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui is also being considered for one of the top positions in world football.

Lopetegui has previously managed Real Madrid and the Spain national team and is in his third season with Sevilla, whom he remains under contract with until 2024.


ROUND-UP

- Newcastle United intend to splash the cash when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season and, according to Fichajes, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar is in their sights. The Brazil international was jeered by his own supporters during last week's win against Bordeaux.

- After two years with Tottenham, Fabrizio Romano claims that left-back Sergio Reguilon could be on his way back to Spain in the coming months. Barcelona are said to be monitoring his situation, while Madrid have a buy-back clause of around €40million.

- It could be a busy transfer window for Madrid, who have also been strongly linked with PSG forward Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund's in-demand striker Erling Haaland. However, Goal reports that Los Blancos are losing hope of beating Manchester City to the signature of the latter.

- Man City midfielder Rodri has another three years to run on his contract, but The Telegraph suggests that the Premier League leaders are eager to tie the midfielder down to an even longer deal, with talks between the two parties ongoing.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Nikola Milenkovic is on the radar of Inter and Man Utd. Inter are said to have made the Fiorentina and Serbia defender one of their primary targets, while United had scouts present to watch him against Bologna last week.

Lionel Messi's struggles this season have surprised Nicolas Anelka more than Cristiano Ronaldo's toils at faltering Manchester United.

Both players have endured dips in form, albeit they are judged against the absurdly high standards the pair have set for many years.

The stellar duo each suffered exits from the Champions League at the last-16 stage to compound disappointing campaigns, although Messi's Paris Saint-Germain look well set to win Ligue 1, in stark contrast to a United side who face a battle just to finish in the top four.

But while Ronaldo has maintained a respectable scoring record, with 12 goals in 24 Premier League games, Messi has netted just twice in the French top flight – a stage on which he was expected to shine.

Messi was jeered in his last outing for PSG, the club's fans still reeling from having seen their side throw away a two-goal aggregate lead to Real Madrid in Europe.

Anelka, who started his career at PSG, acknowledges the pair are bound to slow down after so long at the top, but has been more taken aback by the apparent decline of 34-year-old Messi than he has by the form of his 37-year-old nemesis.

"They have made their careers and I think they are both satisfied with what they have produced for 15 years,” Anelka told RMC's Rothen s'enflamme show. 

"I am more surprised by Messi than by Ronaldo.

"I thought that Messi was going to stroll in the French championship and that Ronaldo was going to struggle a little more because the Premier League, for me, is a more difficult championship in terms of the impact on and around the pitch.

"I think that there won't be any more players like that who will dominate world football so much. They've been above everyone for 15 years; it's logical to see them slowing down. It's normal."

Mohamed Salah is arguably the best player in the world on current form, though Liverpool have not yet tied him down to a new deal.

Talks over fresh terms for the 29-year-old have been ongoing for some time, but nothing is close to being agreed.

With his contract up in 2023, Salah could become one of the most sought-after free agents.

 

TOP STORY – MO HAPPY TO WAIT

According to Fabrizio Romano, Salah is perfectly happy at Liverpool and is not considering pushing through a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid or Barcelona.

However, there has been no further progress on the contract talks.

Salah, who has scored 28 goals already this season across all competitions, remains fully focused on Liverpool but could leave on a free transfer at the end of next season.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will demand that a release clause is included in his contract should he sign for Manchester City, reports The Sun. The Daily Mail suggested a deal was close.

- Bundesliga reporter Jan Aage Fjortoft, however, has claimed that Haaland is of interest to Bayern Munich, who may be faced with the prospect of losing Robert Lewandowski.

- Bayern are also said to be interested in Barcelona full-back Sergino Dest. That is according to a report by Fichajes.

- Foot Mercato say that Neymar will be offered back to Barcelona, as Paris Saint-Germain prepare for a "shake up" ahead of next season.

- Juventus and Milan, meanwhile, are interested in Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, according to Calciomercato.

Edinson Cavani's stay at Manchester United seems to be coming to an end.

Signed as a free agent from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020, Cavani has found his game-time limited this season by both injury and managerial preferences, while it has also been claimed recently he has opted out of playing.

He is out of contract at the end of the season and appears determined to find a new club.

 

TOP STORY – CAVANI WANTS LALIGA SWITCH

Fabrizio Romano has reported that Cavani's preference is to join a team in LaLiga.

The 35-year-old, who has scored two Premier League goals this season, has not yet played in LaLiga, having previously starred for Napoli in Serie A before his move to PSG in 2013.

Cavani was previously linked with a move to Atletico Madrid, prior to joining United. Romano also reports that Argentine giants River Plate have approached the Uruguay international, but that potential move does not interest the striker.

ROUND-UP 

- Barcelona want to tie up deals for Ajax full-back Noussair Mazraoui, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Milan's midfield powerhouse Franck Kessie, who are all approaching the end of their contracts, reports Romano.

- The Daily Mail, citing The Mirror, are reporting that United will consider making a move for Tottenham star Harry Kane at the end of the season.

- Aston Villa are one of the clubs monitoring Kalvin Phillips' situation at Leeds United, so say The Daily Mail.

- SPORT claim that Sergino Dest is willing to leave Barca and join Roma.

- According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus and Milan are both keeping tabs on Lille midfielder Renato Sanches.

They say you should never judge a player on one good international tournament.

In fairness, when Bayern Munich splashed out a reported €35million on an 18-year-old Renato Sanches in 2016, he had already impressed at Benfica, but it was his showings at Euro 2016 for eventual winners Portugal that sped up the hype train.

Just over a year later, he was struggling to get game time during a loan move at Swansea City.

Sanches' star had fallen almost as quickly as it had risen, and after being unable to establish himself at Bayern, the midfielder made the move to Lille in 2019.

At the French side he finally settled and became a crucial part of Christophe Galtier's underdogs, who impressively beat Paris Saint-Germain to the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title.

Sanches followed up his championship medal with another comeback, standing out as one of the best players again at Euro 2020.

As football never seems to learn its lessons, hype rebuilt around Sanches following his performances for Portugal in last year's rescheduled tournament, and the 24-year-old has been linked with a transfer to one of Europe's elite pretty much ever since.

Clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid have all been mooted as possible destinations, but recent reports suggest that Milan could be where Sanches takes the next step of his journey, and potentially where he could finally fulfil that much-discussed potential.

Although Lille have failed to come close to defending their title this season, Sanches has continued to impress when available.

He has played 25 games in all competitions (21 starts), registering one goal and five assists, three more than any other Lille midfielder.

Sanches has completed 57 dribbles, with Jonathan Ikone – more of a forward player and who moved to Fiorentina in January – completing the next most at the club this season (38), and he has created as many big chances (eight) as Ikone having played the same number of games. A big chance is defined by Opta as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score.

Comparing the same numbers to Milan's midfield, he has created twice as many big chances as the Rossoneri's most creative players (Sandro Tonali and Alexis Saelemaekers – four), and only Saelemaekers has completed more dribbles (58), albeit from more appearances. Sanches averages more completed dribbles than the Belgian per 90 minutes (3.01 to 2.51).

One assumption would be that Sanches has been earmarked to replace Franck Kessie, who appears likely to be leaving San Siro when his contract expires at the end of the season, though the two are not all that similar as players.

Kessie has six goals this season, two from the penalty spot, but just one assist, and has only created two big chances. Sanches also makes far more dribbles, attempting 91 compared to 38 from Kessie.

Sanches has made almost as many recoveries as the Ivory Coast international (146 to 158) but has attempted fewer tackles than all of Milan's midfielders (20), with the lowest tackle success rate (45 per cent).

His pass success percentage is also worse than Kessie's (81.77 to 88.73). You might think that could be down to the intent of those passes, but Kessie is even more comfortably ahead when it comes to pass success percentage in the opposition half (75.53 to 85.53).

Sanches, of course, plays in a different league, and so how do his numbers compare in this season's Champions League?

While it must be noted that Lille had an easier time of things in the group stages than Milan, who went up against Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Porto, Sanches did seem to shine on the big stage more than Stefano Pioli's current crop.

Only Ismael Bennacer (39) made more recoveries than Sanches' 38, having played a game more, while no-one at the Serie A side attempted as many as his 209 passes, and none won possession in the opposition's final third more than him (four).

Milan suffered elimination in their group, while Lille won theirs and put up a respectable fight against Chelsea in the first leg of their round-of-16 clash at Stamford Bridge.

Sanches in particular looked good again, though he was unable to prevent the Premier League side taking a 2-0 lead over with them to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday, where Sanches sadly will not play after picking up a muscle injury in the 0-0 draw with Saint-Etienne on Friday.

"Renato Sanches underwent tests this morning following the injury contracted on Friday during the match between LOSC and AS Saint-Etienne," read a statement from Lille. "The midfielder has suffered an injury to the biceps femoris muscle in his left thigh.

"His unavailability is estimated at three weeks, depending on the clinical evolution of his injury."

And this is arguably the thing that has held Sanches back more than anything, his injury record.

For context, at the age of just 24, he already has two pages of injuries listed on his injury history on Transfermarkt, the vast majority of which have been muscle issues that just do not seem to go away.

In terms of what he has shown on the field in the past couple of years, Sanches seems more than ready for another shot at an elite club.

Whether he can stay fit long enough to do so is another matter.

Lionel Messi might be going through strife with Paris Saint-Germain, but he has received a timely reminder of how highly he is valued by Argentina.

Ahead of this year's World Cup, Argentina assistant coach Roberto Ayala said Messi can find sanctuary with the national team and stressed club matters were of little concern.

Following PSG's spectacular collapse against Real Madrid in the Champions League last week, Messi was one of the players to be booed by the club's fans in Sunday's 3-0 Ligue 1 win over Bordeaux.

According to former River Plate and Valencia defender Ayala, Argentina have no worries about their captain and long-time talisman.

"For us it [the PSG knockout] is not an issue because it disconnects here with the national team," Ayala told La Red.

"We see Messi well. He is a boy who is transformed when he comes to the national team. He is very contained by the group and also wants them to see him as part of the group."

The Argentina team running to Messi at the end of the final in their Copa America triumph last year reflected the harmony within the playing group.

The team are safe in the knowledge their World Cup ticket is booked ahead of final qualifiers against Venezuela and Ecuador, for which Messi has been called up.

Irrespective of the quality of football, the harmony and Messi’s role within that is something head coach Lionel Scaloni and his staff will look to harness, heading to Qatar.

"A very nice group has been created,” Ayala said. "They enjoy it. Trainings go as we want. It becomes easy because they make it easy for us, there are no long faces."

Of Messi, he added: "For many, he is an idol but also at our side, and he wants to be treated like one of the others.

"I see him [Messi] as a leader not only on the field but with small gestures off it that you see. That is very valuable to us."

However, the 48-year-old assistant still feels the Albiceleste need to be tested by Europe's best before the tournament in November, and also hinted at the future possibility of joining the UEFA Nations League.

"I think Argentina is going to be summoned to the UEFA Nations League, which was set up so that they play against each other," he said.

"Later on, we will be able to participate and have the friction we need. We aim for the players to arrive in good condition."

Mauricio Pochettino said he was "sad" to hear boos and whistles from Paris Saint-Germain supporters during Sunday's 3-0 win against Bordeaux, but assured them that he and his players "share this disappointment."

The runaway Ligue 1 leaders were made to work for victory against the bottom side, but goals from Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Leandro Paredes were enough to secure the three points.

However, the home crowd made their feelings known after Wednesday's chastening defeat in the Champions League round of 16 to Real Madrid, appearing to reserve their loudest boos and whistles for Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Speaking at a media conference after the game, Pochettino said regarding the fans' jeering: "Nobody likes this background, it made me sad. Everyone who loves PSG after the Madrid disappointment is sad. I am saddened by what I experienced here today.

"We have all been affected. We understand the disappointment and frustration. We all experience this together, as a team. We have a responsibility to take responsibility for what happened. We share this disappointment of the supporters."

The former Tottenham manager also addressed the fact he started Keylor Navas rather than Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal against Bordeaux, with the Italian goalkeeper coming in for criticism for his error that led to Madrid's first goal at the Santiago Bernabeu in the 3-1 defeat.

"It's not a goalkeeper's error but an arbitral error [Donnarumma's mistake in Madrid]. Donnarumma is fine, we chose Keylor today. Gigio and Keylor are both disappointed. It is the results that decide the choice and not an error."

Presnel Kimpembe also sympathised with frustrations from the home fans after Wednesday's capitulation, telling Amazon Prime Video: “Inevitably, we hear [the boos and whistles] anyway, even if we are focused, concentrated in our match. 

"We understand their disappointment, we understand their hatred and their cries. Now we are professional, we must know how to remain so too. It is now that we must raise our heads and be able to move forward in order to be able to win this league."

Luis Suarez sent a message of support to Lionel Messi and Neymar after the Paris Saint-Germain duo were booed by their own fans.

Mauricio Pochettino's team threw away a 2-0 aggregate lead to exit the Champions League at Real Madrid in midweek, prompting fury on their return to domestic action on Sunday.

Messi and Neymar were roundly jeered during PSG's 3-0 Ligue 1 win over Bordeaux, even when Neymar tapped home the team's second goal after a move which included a sublime defence-splitting pass from Messi.

Messi has not enjoyed his finest campaign since arriving in the French capital, scoring just two goals from 60 attempts (18 of them on target) in Ligue 1 this season, although he has hit the woodwork eight times in the league, more than any other player in the top five European divisions.

The treatment of his former Barcelona team-mates prompted Atletico Madrid striker Suarez to show support on his Instagram story, accusing the fans of having "no memory".

"As always, football has no memory," the 35-year-old wrote alongside a picture of the three players.

"[I'm] always with you. I love you."

The Messi-Suarez-Neymar 'MSN' trio enjoyed a fruitful relationship in their time with the Catalan giants, hitting a combined 81 LaLiga goals in a stunning 2014-15 season. They led the Blaugrana to the LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Champions League titles in that campaign.

Neymar's goal against Bordeaux means he has scored eight Ligue 1 goals against them, more league goals than he has managed against any other team since arriving in Europe in 2013. 

The dominant victory at Parc des Princes also means that PSG have won seven of their nine Ligue 1 games immediately following a Champions League exit since their Qatari takeover in 2011.

Lionel Messi and Neymar felt the wrath of Paris Saint-Germain fans as the Ligue 1 leaders moved 15 points clear at the top of the table with a 3-0 win over bottom side Bordeaux.

Boos and whistles were aimed at Messi, Neymar and their team-mates before and during the clash at the Parc des Princes, four days after PSG were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

Kylian Mbappe was not targeted, despite reportedly being bound for Madrid, and the in-form striker opened the scoring on Sunday with his 26th goal of the season.

Neymar then responded to abuse from his own supporters by scoring in the second half and Leandro Paredes was also on target, with Messi involved in all three goals and also hitting the post as Mauricio Pochettino's side ended a tough week with a resounding win.

 

PSG were almost caught cold when Remi Oudin let fly with a rasping drive that was well saved by Keylor Navas in the first minute and Jean Onana's glancing header from the resulting corner flashed just wide.

Messi and Neymar continued to be targeted by PSG fans when they touched the ball, but the Argentina captain played a big hand in Mbappe's opening goal 24 minutes in.

The former Barcelona playmaker's reverse pass found Georginio Wijnaldum, who slipped Mbappe in with a perfectly-weighted ball and the France forward finished clinically with his right foot from inside the penalty area.

Messi was then given too much time to thread a pass through to Achraf Hakimi, whose cross was coolly dinked over Bordeaux goalkeeper Gaetan Poussin and into the net seven minutes into the second half.

Although PSG were denied a penalty due to offside following a VAR check, Paredes extended their lead just after the hour mark with a sweet left-foot finish after showing great skill and composure to leave two Bordeaux players on the deck.

Messi struck the woodwork with a long-range strike following a surging run late on as the boos continued to sound, with Pochettino looking distinctly unimpressed with the hostility as his side cruised to victory following back-to-back defeats.

Carlo Ancelotti thinks Real Madrid did not need to beat Paris Saint-Germain to prove an attractive prospect for the likes of Kylian Mbappe.

Karim Benzema's hat-trick secured a stunning comeback for Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu this week.

Mbappe gave PSG a 1-0 lead and a 2-0 aggregate advantage, but PSG suffered a collapse in the final half-hour as Benzema's treble sealed a 3-1 second-leg win and a 3-2 triumph in the tie.

Speculation has since emerged that Mbappe has already agreed a contract with Madrid to join on a free transfer from PSG at the end of the season.

With Madrid also tipped to battle for the signing of Erling Haaland in the next transfer window, Ancelotti was asked ahead of Monday's LaLiga game with Real Mallorca whether the result against PSG made his side more appealing to the world's top players.

He replied: "It's true that the game on Wednesday gave a really good picture of Real Madrid, but Real Madrid doesn't need that. It already has that picture in the world."

When asked whether he met with Mbappe, Ancelotti said: "No, I greeted [Marco] Verratti because he was my player when I coached PSG, and [sporting director] Leonardo, and the people I worked with back then in Paris.

"When you lose, you feel really bad, physically and mentally. All the PSG players were really disappointed. It's happened to everyone."

Ancelotti also denied that Madrid's progress to the quarter-finals has helped him to feel he has the backing of the fans and the club's hierarchy, his side having gone through a run of just one win in five games in all competitions in late January and February.

"Going through shows that everyone together brought Madrid to the quarter-finals," he said. "I don't need backing. The excitement to coach this team is so great that if they criticise you, it doesn't matter at all.

"It meant a lot [to go through], especially in terms of atmosphere. We saw the emotion the team gave to the fans, and what they gave to the team. It was very beautiful and very important.

"We know that, at the Bernabeu, the atmosphere is going to help us. And I'm very happy for the Madrid fans.

"In January, we went through a moment that wasn't so good, but we keep going, and hopefully we can win something this season."

Madrid's attention now turns to a trip to Mallorca knowing that, should Sevilla lose to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, the leaders will have the chance to open up an 11-point gap at the top.

"We have good feelings," Ancelotti said. "I have all players available and all the ingredients to play a good game.

"Mallorca will give their utmost. Games in LaLiga tell you there's a lot of balance. There's a long way to go and everyone will give everything."

Lionel Messi and Neymar were booed by some Paris Saint-Germain fans during the first half of Sunday's Ligue 1 match with Bordeaux.

Supporters made their displeasure clear towards the star duo following the Champions League exit to Real Madrid this week.

Neymar set up Kylian Mbappe to score at the Santiago Bernabeu and give PSG a 2-0 aggregate lead, but a collapse during the final half-hour saw Madrid triumph 3-1 in the last-16 second leg and 3-2 in the tie thanks to Karim Benzema's hat-trick.

Neither Messi nor Neymar was able to inspire PSG to a comeback as Mauricio Pochettino's side failed once more in their quest to win Europe's biggest prize.

The defeat prompted further speculation over the future of Mbappe and, according to some reports in Spain, the France star has now signed an agreement to join Madrid on a free transfer at the end of the season.

However, Mbappe's early touches against Bordeaux were generally met with cheers from the home fans and it was his strike that gave them the lead 24 minutes in after Messi found Georginio Wijnaldum.

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