With the dust settling after the riots that greeted Paris Saint-Germain’s first French title celebrations in 19 years, attention will first of all turn to securing coach Carlo Ancelotti’s future and rightly so.
PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has already revealed that he has turned down a move from Real Madrid for the Italian tactician (via ESPNFC). He also claims to be confident of retaining the two-time Champions League-winning coach’s services next season.
Once taken care of, all eyes in Paris will then turn to the transfer window despite there being two games left in the Ligue 1 season. Plenty of speculation had suggested that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be out of the door before anyone arrived (via ESPNFC), but on Sunday he pledged his future to the club (via ESPNFC).
With his status for next campaign secure, or at least appearing to be, it allows sporting director Leonardo and the capital club to concentrate on identifying their summer transfer targets. Assuming Ancelotti prolongs his stay, he will then likely have the biggest and final say.
Not a natural striker, but capable of playing in a false nine role made famous by La Furia Roja if required, the Catalan side are believed to be giving serious thought to letting the former Arsenal man go after a disappointing season (via The Mirror). The report also claims that Manchester United are already considering making a bid for the 26-year-old.
The PSG midfield, whilst solid and awash with stars possessing stellar ability, could perhaps benefit from some added invention that Fabregas would bring to the Parc des Princes. However, with the current midfield talent on display, another goal scorer appears to be a more pressing issue for the capital club.
Les Rouge-et-Bleu have already been linked with a bid for Toulouse’s Etienne Capoue who has spoken of his desire to seal a switch to the French capital in the summer (via ESPNFC). Ancelotti confirmed PSG’s interest following those claims (via ESPNFC) and that deal seems highly plausible.
With the anticipated retirement of David Beckham creeping over the horizon (via ESPNFC), Capoue’s proposed signing makes perfect sense. With Marco Verratti not short of talent but lacking in discipline, Capoue would be a reliable partner for fellow French international Blaise Matuidi in the midfield.
Fabregas though would likely require a more advanced role, similar to Javier Pastore. That has proved to be troublesome for PSG to accommodate since Ancelotti’s arrival and sacrificing one of the support strikers in Ezequiel Lavezzi or Jeremy Menez would be the only other alternative.
Instead the side from the capital would be better served going for a natural goal threat rather than taking a player who, while highly skilled in terms of ball retention, would struggle to impose himself on a team who prefer to attack directly instead of passing their opponents to death.
You can take the man out of Barcelona but you can’t take Barcelona out of the man, and the bottom line here is that PSG’s style of play is radically different to that of Barcelona and Arsenal.
While Ancelotti has underlined the importance of keeping possession to his side, it is something that has taken him a long time to drill into them. It doesn’t come naturally, and though Fabregas’ metronomic distribution could be highly beneficial to PSG over time, in the short term it would require a radical overhaul of the current side and their playing style to get the best out of him.
PSG are not a possession-based team, they are a disciplined side built on a solid defence that looks to utilise their lightning-fast players by soaking up pressure and hitting their opponents hard in return, often on the counter attack.
It doesn’t really sound like Fabregas and Barcelona, and it is very difficult to see how it would work better than the signing of a Radamel Falcao or an Edinson Cavani, who would complete the current PSG side.
Any potential Fabregas arrival would also require a sacrifice from Les Parisiens, something they seem unwilling to contemplate for now.
Currently, the Fabregas to PSG talk is just fantasy and will likely remain that way. Though he could bring something different to the team were he to arrive, it seems more plausible that the capital club will pursue other avenues.
Leonardo has already stated that there will likely be a more French flavour to this summer’s dealings (via ESPNFC) and it could in fact be a quieter offseason than usual in Paris.
Fabregas would represent some major business and would require a sizeable fee and in its current state, the squad doesn’t look like PSG need him. But as with so many of the club’s other reported targets, it is not a question of need, it is a question of want.
It remains to be seen if the French juggernaut actually wants the Spaniard, but they don’t desperately need him.
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