Six potential summer targets for PSG- whom will the Parisians add to their roster?

Paris Saint Germain are again expected to improve their squad in the summer and a number of high-profile players have been linked with a move to the Parc des Princes.

Defeat by Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League demonstrated there is still plenty of progress to be made, if PSG are to achieve their ultimate aim of being European champions.

Domestically, PSG remain the dominant force and only a minor miracle will prevent them from winning the title for a third year in a row now that they lead Lyon by six points with two games to play after the latter suffered a shock 3-0 loss to Caen.

Plans for next season have already taken a hit after PSG lost out to Manchester United for PSV Eindhoven star Memphis Depay. The Netherlands international had appeared to be very close to joining PSG but United manager Louis van Gaal played spoilsport for the Parisian outfit, stepping in to persuade Depay to move to Old Trafford.

However, a permanent deal has already been finalised for on-loan full-back Serge Aurier, and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has confirmed he doesn’t want to lose Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore in the summer.

Departures from the squad, though, will be inevitable, especially with PSG needing to comply with Financial Fair Play rules. They effectively only had £50m to spend last summer owing to FFP, and blew it all on the signing of David Luiz.

That has not stopped talk of big money being spent on the squad in the summer and here we take a look at some of the options that Al-Khelaifi and coach Laurent Blanc will be considering.

Blanc Al Khelaifi

PETR CECH

Cech

The fact that Salvatore Sirigu is not in the running for the Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year is a sure sign that he has not performed to the standards he set last season. Having a genuinely top-class keeper can help a club make the leap from domestic titles to European titles and it would be no surprise if PSG did look for a new keeper in the summer.

Chelsea’s Petr Cech has been tipped for a move to the French capital after being forced to spend this season playing second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge. However, on the occasions that Cech has been called upon by Jose Mourinho, he has proven that he still retains his old ability. He has performed at a high level for well over a decade and that makes it easy to forget that Cech will still only be 33 by the start of next season. On that basis, he could easily play on at the top level for another five years or more and that makes him a very attractive proposition for PSG.

There is unlikely to be a clear path to signing Cech as both Arsenal and Liverpool have also been linked with a bid for the Czech Republic international. However, Mourinho does not want Cech to join another Premier League club, if he does leave Chelsea at the end of the season. Mourinho does not want to see Cech leave at all, but he has previously stated that he would not stand in the player’s way, if he did decide to move. It is hard to see Cech being satisfied with spending another season largely on the bench as there is nothing to suggest Mourinho will remove Courtois from his position as first choice.

A move to PSG seems logical as it provides Cech with regular first-team football, the chance to win trophies and Champions League action as well. He also has experience of the French league after spending two seasons with Rennes before his move to Chelsea. For a fee of £10 million, Cech, who is 7/4 at the time of writing with Betfair to move to the Parc des Princes, could prove to be a bargain signing, especially as PSG could probably recoup not far short of that sum for Sirigu.

ANGEL DI MARIA

Di Maria

Financial Fair Play regulations are the only reason why Di Maria isn’t already a PSG player. A deal for the Argentine winger had been agreed last summer, only for the financial implications of the transfer to scupper Di Maria’s planned move to Paris. Instead, Di Maria ended up joining Manchester United for a British record transfer fee, but the move has not exactly worked out as planned. Di Maria did make a fantastic start to his United career, but his form has tailed off in recent months and there have been repeated suggestions he is unhappy.

Louis van Gaal is optimistic that Di Maria will stay, but United’s signing of Depay, ahead of PSG, has only served to fuel the speculation of a summer exit. There has been talk of a loan move to PSG for a season, with a compulsory option to buy Di Maria in 2016. That is one way that PSG could circumvent FFP regulations this year and still bring in other big-money signings. Whether United would be prepared to let Di Maria go out on loan, even with the guarantee of a sale a year later, is another matter.

What is clear from PSG’s interest in Depay, though, is that a player of Di Maria’s type and position is what they are looking to bring in. Capable of operating on either wing, Di Maria can transform defence into attack in an instant, and he showed at Real Madrid that he can make an impact in the biggest games. If United make a move for Gareth Bale, then Di Maria’s future at Old Trafford will come under more scrutiny and an offer to take himpermanently may be looked upon kindly.

NABIL FEKIR & ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

Nabil Fekir

An instrumental figure in Lyon’s title challenge this season, it is no surprise that one of the brightest talents in French football is being linked with PSG. Blanc’s squad needs to retain a homegrown element to it and Fekir has the talent to be a part of his plans. Blanc has already spoken of how he thinks very highly of Fekir, although Lyon coach Hubert Fournier has expressed his concerns that PSG are having a destabilising effect on his players.

Able to play as a striker or attacking midfielder, Fekir has an eye for a decisive pass and he is also a clinical finisher. Given the way PSG are currently set up, he may not necessarily be guaranteed a role in the starting line-up, but long term, he could be the future for the club.

There is likely to be Premier League interest in Fekir as well, with his father claiming that the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year contender would have a better chance of progressing at Arsenal rather than Manchester City. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger always retains an interest in the best young French talent, but again there is no certainty that he would be immediately installed in the starting line-up.

Lacazette

Fekir’s Lyon team-mate Alexandre Lacazette has also been linked with PSG and perhaps the one thing you can say for certain is both of them will not be moving to the Parc des Princes in the summer. Lacazette is a serious rival to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award and, long term, he appears an ideal type to replace the Swede. With bids expected for Lacazette in the summer, it may prove prudent from PSG to try to sign him now, even if he is not necessarily needed, unless Ibrahimovic or Cavani ended up leaving.

Like Fekir, Premier League clubs have been scouting Lacazette extensively and he has been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham. It is hard to see him joining a club which will not offer Champions League football next season, and Chelsea are also reported to be admirers of Lacazette. Chelsea boss Mourinho is in the market for a new striker and there have been suggestions that Loic Remy could be offered to Lyon in part exchange for Lacazette.

Alternatively, Cavani has also been mooted as a target for Chelsea, and PSG would probably make a profit if they sold the Uruguayan and then brought in Lacazette as his replacement.

Such a move would not lead to a decrease in the quality of PSG’s attacking threat given the way Lacazette has scored for fun this season. Again, he keeps the homegrown quota up for PSG and he has the talent to be an attacking talisman for years to come.

PAUL POGBA

Pogba

Winning the chase to sign Pogba, on the proviso that Juventus can be persuaded to sell the midfielder, would be a fantastic coup for PSG and a sure-fire sign of their intent to be credible challengers in the Champions League next season.The first issue, of course, is convincing Juventus to sell Pogba. The France international did recently meet with PSG president Al-Khelaifi and that prompted Juventus to insist that they have no intention of selling Pogba in the summer. But money talks in football these days and any offer in excess of £60million is certainly going to give Juventus food for thought, especially as they shelled out only peanuts to bring in Pogba from Manchester United three years ago.

A second issue is how keen Pogba is to leave Juventus. In the season leading up to the European Championship to be held in France, Pogba would be forgiven for deciding to stay where he is for another year to ensure he is in a settled frame of mind for the tournament. But, on the other side of the argument is the fact that he certainly has nothing else to prove in Serie A after winning the title in all three seasons he has been at Juventus. Much could depend on whether Juventus are able to see off Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final.

The third issue for PSG, once you have established Juve will sell at the right price and Pogba is prepared to leave, is then persuading him to choose the Parc des Princes over the other major European clubs. Real, Barcelona, United, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been linked with a bid to sign Pogba at various stages over the past 12 months. At this stage, they are all more attractive propositions than PSG due to the status of the Premier League and La Liga in comparison to Ligue 1. PSG will be able to compete financially with the other clubs, and they are also in a position to offer Pogba a role as a key man, maybe even above Ibrahimovic, which is something he would not be able to expect at Barcelona or Real.

YAYA TOURE

Yaya

If PSG are unable to land Pogba, then a move for Manchester City midfielder Toure is likely to be given serious consideration. Toure’s agent has stated that it is ‘90 per cent certain’ that the Ivorian will leave City at the end of the season. Toure has long been linked with a move to PSG and he has experience of Ligue 1 after spending the 2006/07 season with Monaco before he joined Barcelona. Toure has previously claimed that he would never be in a position to rule out a move to PSG and the club are among those believed to have expressed an interest.

There is no doubting Toure’s quality and you could easily see him slotting into Blanc’s system. The big issue would be how much would you want to spend on a player who will be 32 by the time the next season starts? Toure will clearly demand a big salary to leave the Etihad Stadium and City are going to be reluctant to let him go on the cheap. With Marco Veratti and Javier Pastore already in the PSG midfield, you would also have to ask how much of an upgrade would Toure be on what Blanc has already got at his disposal.

With making further progress in the Champions League the chief target for PSG, Toure’s lack of form in the competition for City would also have to be a concern. Signing Toure would be a statement of PSG’s ability to attract players from rival big clubs and show they are still serious players in the transfer market, despite concerns over FFP. But you cannot help but feel that signing Toure this summer is a year too late for PSG and their transfer fund would be better spent on players who also have long-term potential for the club.

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