While Laurent Blanc’s Paris Saint-Germain are closing the deal on their 2015-16 campaign, there is already talk that there are players that could be coming in from big teams. N’Golo Kante, one of Leicester City‘s main men this past season, is linked with a move to the capital club this summer. Already Riyad Mahrez is ruling out a move to PSG, but Kante might be on the move. Paul Doyle of the Guardian writes…
Paris Saint-Germain are ready to invest up to £250m this summer in an effort make it beyond the Champions League final. They just don’t get it, do they? That club needs moxie, not more money. Or maybe they have finally understood that: because they are said to be mulling over an offer for N’Golo Kanté, a year after they could have had him for a pittance and several years after they could have had him for free. And just to respect the Qatari club’s tradition of being able to impress a lot of the time but not when it really matters, PSG are also said to be keen on Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had a rough year for the Blues and was replaced on the depth chart by Asmir Begovic. Courtois admits that PSG is the great big temptation that is as appetizing as, say, McDonald’s. However, he knows that when things go bad for a big name, it’s the media’s job to get players like him talking.
“I have never had any contact with PSG,” said Courtois. “I have played a lot against PSG recently – twice last season, again this season in a friendly and twice more in the Champions League this year. They are a good club who win their league easily. Me, I like playing in England. Paris is a very good club but I am happy at Chelsea.
“I have a contract for three years, so I will say 100%. Rumours affect any club where things are going badly. People think the top players want to leave because they are not in the Champions League. Everyone knows it is our fault we will not play in that competition next year. It has happened to Manchester United and to Dortmund, and it is heartbreaking. This year, we have not defended our title well like we needed to. We must regather our forces to return stronger and get back to the Champions League.”
Could Blanc himself be gone despite the possibility of finishing unbeaten for all of May? Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC suggests that the club needs to go after Jose Mourinho before setting their eyes on Mauricio Pocchetino in the long haul.
“The current cycle at Parc des Princes can only truly be brought to a close with the departure of coach Laurent Blanc and his staff. Le President has done better than many expected him to do since taking over in Paris in 2013, but it looks as if he has taken the current team as far as he can in Europe.
“This summer is the moment for PSG’s ambitious Qatari paymasters to change things on and off the pitch in their pursuit for continental glory, with a place in the last four of the Champions League seemingly so close yet still so elusive too. The problem that Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) face in replacing Blanc, if that is what they ultimately choose to do, is that there are not many candidates out there who are clear upgrades on the Frenchman at this moment in time.
“Should Pochettino fare well in his maiden experience at European football’s top table though, his reputation will have been enhanced considerably and he will then fully fit the bill for the French capital outfit. A potential candidate cannot come much more ideal than the South American. He played for PSG for three years between 2001-03 and in that short space of time, became captain and a popular figure that supporters remember fondly in Paris.”
Meanwhile, on the youth side, one of their prospects could be on his way out in Jonathan Ikone, as Manchester City and Liverpool have their eyes set on him. The Daily Mail writes…
The France Under 17 international could be signed for just £1.2million compensation, a tiny fee given what could be his potential to possibly make it to the highest level. City and Liverpool have been keen observers of PSG’s Uefa Youth League squad this year aware that some of their players are unsure about their chances of progressing to the senior side.
Attacker Ikone, who was born in the Paris suburb of Bondy, quickly impressed in his time with his local club and joined PSG’s set-up in 2010. His progression has already seen him represent his country at youth level and he was part of the French Under 17 side which beat Germany to claim European Championship success in 2015. t’s not just Premier League sides who are interested in Ikone though – Juventus are also monitoring the player.