PSG Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 18
Paris Saint-Germain have been largely frustrated by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) 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.
With the new Ligue 1 season already underway, a number of recent injury problems, per PSG.fr, are giving coach Laurent Blanc a headache or two. Les Parisiens could yet make a move on the market once again, but in order to do that, the French capital outfit must first sell because of FFP.
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 22 using Ligue1.com’s transfer tracker.
For the past few weeks, a transfer involving PSG’s Argentine star Ezequiel Lavezzi has appeared more and more likely.
The 29-year-old has been the subject of an £18 million (€22.5 million) bid from Liverpool according to The Independent’s Jack De Menezes. That same report also stated that Lavezzi favours a return to Italy, though, making a move to the likes of Italian champions Juventus more likely.
However, despite The Express' Ben Jefferson claiming that a move away from PSG was unlikely for El Pocho after contract extension talks resumed, there were further claims that the Parisien No. 22 could soon be on the move.
Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Enrico Passarella) reported last week that talks regarding a new deal for Lavezzi have not been fruitful and that the capital club are some way from offering acceptable terms. The same source, Passarella, then claimed that Juventus had representatives in the Parc des Princes crowd to watch the former SSC Napoli star against SC Bastia on Saturday.
According to The Daily Star's Bruce Archer, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are all interested in signing the South American. However, the injury suffered by Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Bastia could put paid to any possible move this summer.
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 Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria. But if Ibrahimovic is facing a significant period of time out of action, the French giants will be loathe to let one of their main back-up options leave.
One player who will almost certainly not be leaving PSG this summer following the injury sustained by Ibrahimovic against Bastia is Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan has seen his name linked with a whole host of clubs—mostly in the English Premier League—this summer, but the injury to the French champions' star man makes El Matador indispensable to coach Blanc.
When both players are fit, Le President regularly suffers a headache in trying to find the best way for the pair to coexist. However, those frustrations will be put to one side as Cavani replaces Ibrahimovic, allowing Blanc to stick with his preferred 4-3-3 formation.
Cavani has been the subject of intense speculation since the start of 2014, most recently from The Express' Anthony Chapman who claimed that Arsenal are considering a €63.5 million (£51 million) for the player.
Ibrahimovic's injury should put paid to the Cavani rumours, at least until January, but the South American now has the chance to stake his claims ahead of the Scandinavian star.
Angel Di Maria
Although The Express' Anthony Chapman suggested last week that PSG have re-entered the race to sign Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, despite appearing to rule out a move when president Nasser Al-Khelaifi declared publicly that the Argentine is too expensive (h/t French Football Weekly's tweet), it seems a move to Manchester United is now more likely.
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
This transfer saga still has some mileage left in it, but according to The Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman, the 26-year-old now favours a switch to Louis van Gaal's team.
With PSG being hit by a number of injuries recently, selling players in order to make room for Di Maria would be a huge risk. Therefore, it is unlikely that Les Parisiens will be able to revisit their interest in the South American this summer.
However, L'Equipe (h/t The Mirror's Ben Burrows) claimed on Tuesday that an agreement for a loan move to PSG is in place, but that the sticking point is over the future fee. Ancelotti, meanwhile, has confirmed that El Fideo (the noodle) wants to leave Real Madrid, according to The Independent's Nicholas Rigg.
One player who could be on his way out at PSG is teenage prodigy Adrien Rabiot.
According to French media (h/t The Daily Mail's Ashley Clements), the 19-year-old is set for talks with Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger after the French champions grudgingly recognised that they will not be able to convince the youngster to sign a new deal with the club.
Rabiot is currently injured but is set to leave the club before the end of the current transfer window. AS Roma and Juventus are also though to be keen, according to the same Daily Mail report.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc revealed in a press conference on Thursday that it is possible that the teenage talent leaves the capital club before the end of the transfer window per Metro's Hannah Duncan. The news came just one day after it was revealed that PSG are looking for a fee of €25million for the Frenchman, per The Daily Star's Nick Lustig.
There still could be one or two departures before the end of this summer and one of the first of those players to go will be long-serving midfielder Clement Chantome it seems. 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.
Le Parisien: PSG's Clement Chantome might not leave before end of summer. Toulouse, Bastia & Rennes interested, Lyon still more likely.— FFW (@FrenchFtWeekly) August 20, 2014
According to French paper Le Parisien on Tuesday (h/t French Football Weekly’s tweets), the French international has agreed to join Lyon—like former teammate Jallet—but he is waiting for either Clement Grenier or Samuel Umtiti's future to be sorted out first.
Le Parisien: Chantome move to Lyon depends on OL selling Grenier or Umtiti, but now also possible that Chantome stays at PSG this season.— FFW (@FrenchFtWeekly) August 20, 2014
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 Rabiot.
The 19-year-old could block Chantome's possibly summer departure though if he makes the move instead.
Despite the recent tension between PSG and Bastia following Brandao's head-butt on Thiago Motta, the clubs could still do business before the end of the current transfer window.
Le Parisien (h/t Get French Football News) reported on Tuesday that the pair are about to announce a loan deal that will see the capital club's youth academy prodigy Hervin Ongenda leave for Corsica—possibly to replace Brandao—to link-up with former PSG assistant coach Claude Makelele.
With first team chances at a premium and the possible arrival of Di Maria likely to further marginalise versatile attacking talent Ongenda, such a loan move might be the best thing for the teenage sensation right now.
One of the more unlikely transfer rumours that PSG are involved in at the moment is the speculation that Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech could be joining either the French champions or last season's Ligue 1 runners-up AS Monaco, after seemingly failing to hold on to his place in Jose Mourinho's starting XI.
According to Goal's Wayne Veysey, les Parisiens plan on making the first move for the 32-year-old and would consider Cech an upgrade on current incumbent Salvatore Sirigu.
Considering that PSG are still chasing Di Maria, a move for Cech as well looks highly unlikely. Particularly as Blanc has little or no reason to feel dissatisfied with Sirigu since arriving.