World Football: Are Paris Saint-Germain About to Become One of Europe's Elite?

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIJune 12, 2011

PARIS - MAY 01: Defender Mamadou Sakho of Paris Saint Germain football club is seen during the French Football Cup Final at Stade de France on May 1, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

With the domestic seasons all over Europe done and dusted, the usual transfer stories begin to arise. The best players in France's Ligue Un are usually linked with the best clubs in England, Spain and Italy.

However, that may not be the case this close season, as there is a new kid on the block.

They are capital side Paris Saint Germain, and after being taken over by the Qatar Investment Authority at the end of May, 'Les Rouge et Bleu' are serious players in this summer's transfer window.

They have started with the signing of the highly-rated French international Kevin Gameiro. The striker commanded a fee of around €10million from former club Lorient.

There was interest from the likes of Valencia and Newcastle United for the league's second top-scorer last season, but he decided to join the new era that is about to begin in the nation's capital.

Coach Antoine Kambouare is expected to spend big this summer by adding quality to a side that finished fourth in Ligue Un last season and thus earned itself a place in the Europa League, where they are expected to make some noise.

Nonetheless, Champions League qualification must be the main objective for the new Qatari owners. This should be more than achievable for this side, with the likes of Nene, Guillaume Hourau and their superb French international defender Mamadou Sakho.

Sakho has been linked with Arsenal in the past, but now the money available at his hometown club could enable him to stay for the time being. The only negative at the end of last season was the retirement of French legend Claude Makelele, the best defensive midfielder of his generation, who now calls time on his glittering career.

Reports are that 'Les Parisians' will replace Makelele with this summer's "next big thing", current defensive midfielder Alou Diarra of 'Les Bleus'. The Bordeaux midfielder is set to leave for pastures new and would be the perfect replacement for Makelele.

PSG have already secured the services of one of the best custodians in Ligue Un with their signing of Nicloas Douchez from Rennes.

If they keep up with signings of this caliber throughout the off-season, they will start next season as the favourites for France's top prize.

They have also been linked with the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Dimitar Berbatov, but it is unlikely that these players will be willing to sign for a team not playing in the Champions League. But with one good season and entry into the Europe's premier competition, who knows?

One thing is for sure: keep a look out, because the glory days for this particular club may be ready to return.