Recent reports have linked PSG with moves to Argentine duo Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi and in order to fund those moves they will sell Kylian Mbappe.
Given that Mbappe is one of the most exciting young players in the world this seems like a slightly odd move from PSG but the Frenchman is now into the last 18 months of his contract and is reportedly hesitating over a new contract.
The other superstar in Paris, Neymar, is in the same position, and Julien Pereira of Eurosport France has very kindly taken some time to help us try and understand what the thinking is at the moment in the French capital.
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KYLIAN MBAPPE’S CONTRACT AND THE REAL MADRID DREAM
Let’s start with Mbappe leaving. Why is he stalling over signing a new deal?
“If he extends, his dream of playing for Real Madrid will be much less accessible - the amount of his transfer will increase a lot,” Pereira explains.
For several months now, he has given the impression that he cannot go higher with PSG, both individually and collectively.
“Even if he's only 22 years old, he must have an important reflection and not waste any more time.”
That makes sense, PSG keep falling short on the biggest stage and this season they’re even struggling in France, let alone in Europe.
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So for Mbappe are there any other advantages to signing for Real and what would PSG be asking for? Surely they couldn’t demand too much given he would be in the final year of his contract?
“Playing for Real Madrid is his dream. In recent weeks, he seems much less fulfilled sportingly at Paris Saint-Germain," Pereira says.
“His performances are no longer so convincing and in some areas, he isn't improving.
“I think the amounts mentioned by AS [a story covered by Euro Papers, below] are the right ones: between 150 and 220 million euros.”
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SERIO AGUERO AND LIONEL MESSI
One of the things that has been confusing for some fans is why PSG would look to sign Aguero and Messi.
Obviously both are great players, and Messi already has an existing relationship with Neymar, but new PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has traditionally done his best work with younger players.
“I think all coaches would love to have these two players, even though they only have a year or two at the top level ahead of them,” Pereira says.
Don't forget that PSG is in an emergency: win the Champions League to gain credibility on a European scale. And it's players like them, who are the best in their positions, who can help him.
“Paris would not have much to lose for its future because the project is built around individualities.
“The acquisitions of Messi and Aguero could allow the club to get closer to his goal: to win the Champions League as quickly as possible. But anyway, I think the question doesn't even arise.
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“PSG don't have the financial power to get Aguero and Messi. Between them, Neymar, Aguero and Messi receive 150 million euros in annual salary. French football is going through a serious crisis and Paris is suffering from it, even if the club is supported by Qatar.
“For several weeks, Paris seems to favour the extension of Neymar's contract to the extension of Mbappe's. If Mbappe leaves, PSG will be forced to make a big deal to compensate.
“From a financial point of view but also a marketing point of view, to bring Messi would be the operation of the century.”
Many thanks to Julien for his input; it certainly sounds as if PSG are going to have some tricky decisions to make over the coming months.
Mbappe is the big domino, if Real don’t move for him (and he makes the move subsequently) then there’s no discussion to be had at all.
There have been noises from PSG fans recently about the performances of Mbappe relative to those of Neymar, there’s no doubt that the Brazilian is the star man in Paris right now.
But how does Neymar feel if Messi arrives? He left Barcelona to get out of Messi’s shadow, would a move for his old team-mate frustrate him? Or would there be an acceptance at this stage of their respective careers that Neymar is the main man? It’s going to be a wild six months in Barcelona and Paris, that’s for sure.
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