PSG Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 4
Paris Saint-Germain have been largely frustrated by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play sanctions this summer, but the French champions have still managed to strengthen by signing Brazilian international David Luiz from Chelsea and Ivory Coast FIFA World Cup star Serge Aurier from Toulouse. However, they are not necessarily expected to do further business before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.
While Luiz and Aurier have come in, a number of talented youngsters have also returned, further boosting Laurent Blanc’s squad. PSG have also let go of a number of players in an attempt to trim the fat and lower—or at least remain within—last season’s comfortable overall wage bill.
Alex and Jeremy Menez have joined AC Milan, while former captain Christophe Jallet has signed for Olympique Lyonnais. On top of that, youngster Kingsley Coman has also departed for Juventus on a free transfer, while Kalifa Traore has joined second-tier outfit Angers SCO.
Promising youth academy products Alphonse Areola, Youssouf Sabaly, Jordan Ikoko and Romain Habran have also departed—albeit only on loan—to SC Bastia, Evian TG FC, Havre AC and FC Sochaux-Montbeliard, respectively.
The new Ligue 1 season got underway last Friday and the current champions were without new arrival Luiz, Maxwell and Ezequiel Lavezzi after their extended holidays because of World Cup duty this summer. All three could feature in Monday's friendly clash with SSC Napoli.
Here is PSG’s summer business, in full, so far:
David Luiz (Chelsea), Serge Aurier (Toulouse on loan), Clement Chantome (returns from loan spell with Toulouse), Jean-Christophe Bahebeck (returns from loan spell with Valenciennes), Alphonse Areola (returns from loan spell with RC Lens and joins Bastia), Jordan Ikoko (returns from loan spell with US Creteil-Lusitanos and joins Havre AC) and Antoine Conte (returns from loan spell with Stade de Reims before making transfer permanent).
Alex and Jeremy Menez (both AC Milan), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Kingsley Coman (Juventus on a free transfer), Kalifa Traore (Angers), Antoine Conte (Reims), Alphonse Areola (Bastia on season-long loan), Youssouf Sabaly (Evian on season-long loan), Jordan Ikoko (Havre AC on season-long loan) and Romain Habran (Sochaux on season-long loan).
All PSG transfer information correct up until August 10 using Ligue1.com’s transfer tracker.
Angel Di Maria
The big transfer story this summer, at least as far as PSG are concerned, has been the saga surrounding Angel Di Maria’s potential move to the French champions from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
However, that speculation has now been put to bed—at least temporarily—after les Parisiens' president Nasser Al-Khelaifi told the assembled media at David Luiz's unveiling in Paris on Thursday that the club has ended talks with the European champions, per ESPN FC. According to the Qatari, the Argentine World Cup star is "too expensive" (h/t French Football Weekly's tweet).
Al-Khelaifi: "We spoke with Real Madrid about the possibility of signing Angel Di Maria, but it was too expensive."— FFW (@FrenchFtWeekly) August 7, 2014
According to Spanish outlet Diario Sport (h/t Here Is the City Sport’s Tom Thorogood) earlier in the week, the two European powerhouses had struck a deal worth €80 million that would have allowed PSG to sign Di Maria and also sidestep FFP.
However, it now appears that the 26-year-old—also known as El Fideo (the noodle)—will almost certainly not be joining PSG to strengthen their chances of succeeding Real as UEFA Champions League winners
Even without Di Maria coming for now though, there still could be one or two departures before the end of this summer.
The first of those players to go, it seems, will be long-serving midfielder Clement Chantome. The 26-year-old spent last season on loan at Toulouse and appears to only be a peripheral figure in Coach Blanc’s plans for the coming season.
According to French paper Le Parisien on Monday (h/t French Football Weekly’s tweet), the French international has agreed to join Lyon—like former teammate Jallet—but he is waiting for Clement Grenier’s future to be sorted out first. Although not one of PSG’s high earners, Chantome’s departure would help PSG by providing some extra flexibility in terms of salary to be used toward the Di Maria move.
While Chantome is a youth academy graduate, his reputation in Paris has waned since the arrival of Qatar Sports Investments and particularly since the emergence of Adrien Rabiot.
The 19-year-old is thought to have far greater potential than Chantome, and PSG will hope that keeping him and selling the former will convince Rabiot that his future lies at Parc des Princes amid speculation that AC Milan have had a bid for the player rejected by the French champions, as per Sky Sport Italia (h/t Sports Mole’s Chris O’Keefe).
Another PSG star linked with a move away from the club is one of their two star strikers, Edinson Cavani.
El Matador has been the subject of much speculation since early this year, but the latest is that he will be staying at the club, according to his recent comments to the press while on tour with Les Parisiens in Asia, as reported by ESPN FC’s Ian Holyman.
It is obvious that PSG needed to sell in order to acquire Di Maria, but the fact that the club have now withdrawn from talks suggests that there was a limit to how far Al-Khelaifi was willing to go in order to land the Argentine.
Considering that PSG only have one other striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it appears unlikely that the French champions were ever giving great consideration to the possibility of cutting Cavani loose.
However, one of Cavani's agents, Claudio Anelluci, claimed on Friday that Arsenal and Liverpool have made approaches for the unsettled striker per El Telegrafo (h/t The Independent's Tom Sheen). This transfer saga could have some distance to run yet.
Instead, a transfer seems much more likely for PSG’s Argentine star Ezequiel Lavezzi. The 29-year-old is yet to report back for training after an extended summer holiday thanks to his World Cup involvement, but according to The Independent’s Jack De Menezes, Liverpool are considering an £18 million (€22.5 million) bid for El Pocho.
The same report also states that Lavezzi would favour a return to Italy, though, possibly making a move to the likes of Italian champions Juventus more likely. Of all of PSG’s high-earning players, the Argentine appears to be the most expendable, and his salary—combined with Chantome’s—could free up enough space to bring in priority signing Di Maria.
One other rumour now out there is that PSG's star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic sensationally wants to return to Juventus. The Swedish superstar played for the Italian giants between 2004 and 2006 before leaving in the wake of their relegation to Serie B because of their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal.
According to Tuttosport (h/t Football Italia), former Malmo youth coach Stefan Hansson claimed that the 32-year-old wants to return to Italy with the Bianconeri.
Even if the story were true, there is little to no chance that PSG would consider selling Ibrahimovic at the moment in his current form.
However, Hansson told SportExpressen.se (h/t ESPN FC's Ian Holyman) that the quotes attributed to him by the Italian publication were fabricated.