PSG Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 11
Paris Saint-Germain have been largely frustrated by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play sanctions this summer. However, the French champions have still managed to strengthen by signing Brazil international David Luiz from Chelsea and Ivory Coast FIFA World Cup star Serge Aurier from Toulouse. There is no guarantee that they will 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 from loans, boosting Laurent Blanc’s squad and the club's home-grown quota in the UEFA Champions League. PSG have also let go of a number of surplus 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 on loan—to SC Bastia, Evian TG FC, Havre AC and FC Sochaux-Montbeliard, respectively.
The new Ligue 1 season started on 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 14 using Ligue1.com’s transfer tracker.
Last week, a rumour was launched that PSG's star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic wanted a sensational 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.
However, Hansson then told SportExpressen.se (h/t ESPN FC's Ian Holyman) that the quotes attributed to him by the Italian publication were fabricated.
Ibrahimovic himself has now weighed in on the issue. According to a statement made on his personal app, Zlatan Unplugged (h/t Goal’s Stefan Coerts), PSG’s No. 10 made his position clear.
A person named Stefan Hansson has made comments about me in the media. Therefore, I want to make clear that I don’t know this person, have never met him, have never had him as manager, and have never spoken to him over Skype.
Normally, I would never comment on this sort of slander, but as his comments have reached unreasonable proportions I feel obliged to do so.
I have more important things to focus on.
Even if the story were even partially true, there is little chance that PSG would consider selling Ibrahimovic at the moment on his current form. The Swede hit the ground running in Ligue 1, bagging a double in Les Parisiens’ opening match, a 2-2 draw away to Stade de Reims.
Angel Di Maria
Speculation linking Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria has largely 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 last 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).
Per Spanish outlet Diario Sport (h/t Here Is the City Sport’s Tom Thorogood), 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—could still join PSG if the French capital outfit decide to cash in on Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, per Le Parisien (h/t ESPNFC).
The Express' Anthony Chapman has also suggested that the French giants have re-entered the race to sign the Argentine, even though he now favours a move to Manchester United. This transfer saga still has some mileage left in it.
One slightly fanciful rumour in the French press this week comes from the same article that suggests PSG might be considering cashing in on Cavani. Le Parisien (h/t ESPNFC) have linked the French champions with a possible bid for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney in the case that they sell Cavani.
It is not the first time that Les Parisiens have been touted as a potential destination for the England international. Last year, Le 10 Sport (h/t the Express’ Richard Tanner) claimed that the transfer was “a done deal,” only for the move to never materialise.
However, Le Parisien claim (h/t The Independent) that a swap deal deal between PSG and United involving Rooney and Cavani was discussed over the summer. Considering that Rooney’s astronomical salary dwarves even that of Cavani's at PSG, it appears unlikely that this move will happen anytime soon.
In addition to the suggestion that PSG could spend the proceeds of any possible Cavani sale on Di Maria or Rooney, another name has been put forward—also by Le Parisien (h/t ESPNFC)—as a potential replacement.
Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle has been mentioned as the player that the French capital outfit might turn to as a more reasonably priced alternative to Cavani in the face of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play sanctions. PSG will be familiar with the Germany international, as it was the FIFA World Cup winner who scored one of the two goals that knocked Laurent Blanc’s men out of the Champions League last season.
The Express' Ben Jefferson has also suggested that Chelsea could be tempted to offer Schurrle and a sizeable transfer fee in exchange for Cavani.
Last week, a transfer seemed likely for PSG’s Argentine star Ezequiel Lavezzi. The 29-year-old was the subject of an £18 million (€22.5 million) bid from Liverpool according to The Independent’s Jack De Menezes.
The same report also stated that Lavezzi favoured 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 is the most expendable, and his salary could help to free up enough space to bring a player like Di Maria.
Despite The Express' Ben Jefferson claiming that a move away from PSG was unlikely for el Pocho after contract extension talks resumed, Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Enrico Passarella) claims that talks regarding a new deal for the Parisien No. 22 have not been fruitful and that the capital club are some way from offering acceptable terms.
Should Lavezzi not leave Parc des Princes this summer, PSG will be left with no choice but to abandon their hopes of signing Di Maria. Unless they sell one of their highest earners, of course.
Cavani has been the subject of intense speculation since the start of 2014, most recently from The Express' Anthony Chapman who claims that Arsenal are considering a €63.5 million (£51 million) for the PSG man.
With les Parisiens supposedly back in the hunt for Di Maria, also per Chapman, this saga could have some way to go before being considered over.