5 Potential Summer Transfer Targets for Paris Saint-Germain
Despite Paris Saint-Germain’s impending punishment for overstepping the boundaries of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, according to Agence France-Presse on Saturday, this summer is still expected to be a busy one in the French capital.
The Ligue 1 champions-elect will be looking to potentially defend their title for a third consecutive time next season, but they will also be targeting at least a semi-final appearance in the UEFA Champions League. Laurent Blanc’s men will also be expected to improve on this campaign’s single domestic trophy: the Coupe de la Ligue.
In order to continue their recent domestic domination, PSG will need to make a number changes to their current squad without taking any potential FFP sanctions into account. Including those possible punishments in the capital club’s thinking, further business will be required at the Parc des Princes in order to reallocate funds.
Here are five potential PSG targets this summer.
According to reports in Spain (h/t Eurosport in French), PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi visited Madrid last week and is believed to have met with Real Madrid counterpart Florentino Perez regarding a potential summer transfer.
The identity of the player in question is not yet known, but Karim Benzema is the name that would make the most sense. With Edinson Cavani’s future at PSG still very much up in the air, replacing him with the French international would make sense.
Considering that the 26-year-old would likely command a substantial fee, Al-Khelaifi might have been trying to broker a deal in light of the FFP news including a PSG player—possibly Cavani—in exchange.
One position that PSG must improve next season is in central defence. Captain Thiago Silva has not enjoyed his best season in the French capital, struggling with injury and a drop in form, but the Brazilian is likely to be priced out of a move away from the club.
In order for PSG to be more competitive across all competitions next year, a new defensive partner for the 29-year-old might be required. Despite a generally impressive season, Silva’s compatriot Alex could find himself sacrificed in order to bring in a better and younger central defensive option.
FC Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala is one potential signing that would make sense.
Not only is the 23-year-old a young French international talent, the player also speaks Portuguese, making communication between him and Silva easier; he is also a similar player to Alex. The problem for PSG would be the high price tag that has been placed on Mangala by Porto, according to John Cross of The Mirror.
Right-back is another area of this PSG squad that arguably needs upgrading.
Gregory van der Wiel has impressed this season, but his injury problems have become a cause for concern. Backup option Christophe Jallet is also not seen as an adequate enough replacement for the Dutchman.
According to Pete Jenson of the Mail Online, Barcelona’s Dani Alves has already revealed to the French champions’ Brazilian contingent that he will be joining them in Paris this summer.
It is a move that would make sense considering that the Selecao star plays an attacking brand of football that suits Blanc’s attacking philosophy when it comes to tactics and would also bring considerable experience to the side.
But at 30 and going on 31, and likely on a substantial salary, PSG could arguably use those funds elsewhere with FFP sacrifices now a possibility.
Toulouse’s talented and in-demand, via Graeme Yorke of the Mail Online, Ivory Coast international Serge Aurier and FC Sochaux-Montbeliard’s Sebastien Corchia are the standout, domestic-based talents available. Both would be better choices ahead of an ageing Alves as the most financially responsible options.
Either player would also enable the deserving Van der Wiel to remain first choice in the role, at least initially. However, it could be that the Brazilian’s move to PSG is already a done deal.
Real Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann is another potential target for PSG this summer, with a wide man also on the capital club’s shopping list.
The level of speculation linking the 23-year-old French international with a move to the Parc des Princes has been so intense that the player has had to deny the rumours for a second time on Canal Football Club (h/t ESPN FC) recently. The Sociedad man would be a great addition to the PSG squad though.
Despite Argentine international Ezequiel Lavezzi’s brilliant form since the start of 2014, there is a feeling that he has not fulfilled his potential in the French capital. With Brazilian Lucas Moura also struggling to find consistency, both could find themselves sold by PSG.
Should one or both of the South Americans leave the club this summer, Griezmann would be an impressive upgrade. But his €30 million release clause could now prove a problem in light of the impending FFP sanctions.
The inclusion of a potential makeweight—such as enigmatic Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore—could smooth a deal over.
Another player that PSG are thought to be extremely keen on is Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. But, as with most of their summer targets, FFP sanctions could prohibit their ability to lure him away from the Stamford Bridge outfit financially.
Instead, the Parisians are considering a swap deal that would see Cavani go one way with Hazard moving the other, according to L’Equipe (h/t Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star).
The Belgian international would be an excellent addition to the PSG squad and would fit in seamlessly, arguably suiting the team’s current 4-3-3 formation better than Cavani does deployed wide on the right. Such a move could arguably work in Chelsea’s favour, too, giving them the natural striker that coach Jose Mourinho craves.
Should the offer fail to bring Chelsea to the table though, PSG could turn their attentions to Hazard’s Blues teammate and Brazilian international Oscar. The French giants were also linked with a move for the 22-year-old attacking midfielder earlier this year, per The Guardian, and they could see him as easier to obtain than their prime target.
However, AS Roma’s Miralem Pjanic is also another option in PSG’s search for a creative talent.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international recently revealed to former French international Sidney Govou via his YouTube channel Le Mi-Temps de Sidney (h/t ESPN FC) that he would consider a return to Ligue 1. The French champions were linked with a bid back in January, as per Ian Holyman of ESPN FC.
PSG’s main transfer target this summer is expected to be Juventus’ Paul Pogba. According to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Football Italia), the Ligue 1 champions-elect are desperate to obtain the talented French international midfielder.
Further reports from SportMediaset (h/t Forza Italian Football) indicate that the Bianconeri have offered the 21-year-old a favourable contract extension but that agent Mino Raiola wants to wait until after the World Cup to decide whether or not to accept the proposal.
One reason for this is to potentially give the agent more power, depending on Pogba’s performances in Brazil.
With so many of Raiola’s clients already at PSG—including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Maxwell—the agent could be tempted to engineer a move for his young client to the French capital. Pogba himself has never hidden his admiration for PSG, telling BeIn Sports (h/t Ben Gladwell of ESPN FC) last month that the French champions are a “great club.”
On the pitch, Pogba would add to the impressive trio of Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti assembled by the Parisians, but bringing the Frenchman to Paris might require PSG to sacrifice diminutive Italian international Verratti.
Pogba is undoubtedly an excellent player and one that would strengthen the team at Blanc’s disposal. However, FFP restrictions could frustrate the capital club in their efforts to snare the Juventus star.