“Big signings? We will do some, we will do some.”
As Nasser Al-Khelaifi answers a question from L’Equipe about the summer passes, the president of Paris Saint-Germain has a big smile on his face. It is May, and the season has just ended. Everyone is already thinking about the pass window. Will PSG really be able to strengthen its squad? How much can you spend? Who will they sign?
About two months later, it is worth saying that Al-Khelaifi was not lying.
The big signings are here, and the purchases are not over yet. Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma are the new faces of PSG, and there are still figures the club is interested in. Paul Pogba is the priority in midfield, sources informed ESPN last week. Moise Kean would be welcomed with a new loan if Everton accepts. Eduardo Camavinga, star of Stade Rennes, is an alternative to Pogba if Les Parisiens fail to recruit the 2018 World Cup winner. Joaquín Correa, Lazio forward, is a player that both sports director Leonardo and DT Mauricio Pochettino like very much, as reported by sources.
And, not for nothing, PSG was determined to try their luck bringing Lionel Messi to the French capital. That has come to nothing, since sources informed ESPN that the Argentine agreed to a new contract with Barcelona, but the intention was.
ESPN reported in February that the club would target free agents. And PSG did just that with Wijnaldum, Donnarumma and Ramos. It’s arguably the best list in history of free agents signed by the same club in the same window. In addition, they extended their search to players with a contract year ahead, which could represent great value and good opportunities, such as Pogba and Camavinga.
Hakimi is the only exception. Inter Milan needed to raise funds by moving the 22-year-old Moroccan international and PSG was looking for a right-back. He’s probably the best in Europe at his position, and € 60 million is a fair price.
Let’s not forget that during the season Neymar (until 2025) and Ángel Di María (2022) also renewed their contracts, as well as Juan Bernat (2025) and Julian Draxler (2024).
Leonardo was under pressure. It had to end with a successful pass window. There is still a long way to go, especially to find new homes for players who are no longer in Pochettino’s plans, but so far he has exceeded expectations with the players he has added. Pochettino is very happy with the strength of the team. Some will leave (Mitchel Bakker has already joined Bayer Leverkusen, while Leandro Paredes, Pablo Sarabia, Ander Herrera, Layvin Kurzawa and Thilo Kehrer are available) but the potential of this squad is already daunting.
Of course, new hires, especially big-name ones, often add tension to the locker room. The goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, was not very happy with the arrival of Donnarumma, who will be a direct competitor for his place in the team. After a very good campaign, the Costa Rican vice captain does not understand why they have recruited another goalkeeper. Presnel Kimpembe was just as upset by the arrival of Ramos, who will not be there to sit on the bench.
PSG are looking like UCL favorites 😳🔥 pic.twitter.com/pNKVmMkt9i
– ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 14, 2021
“We will never stop being ambitious,” Al-Khelaifi commented. After two quiet summers on the market, PSG wanted to send a message. After losing the Champions League final and semi-final in consecutive years, they wanted to show the other big European clubs that they want to stomp, especially after financial fair play regulations were relaxed a bit.
They also wanted to show a certain Kylian Mbappé who this team was. Negotiations to close a new contract are ongoing, and the team’s competitiveness has always been a central issue. The message from Mbappé, who is in the last year of his contract, could be summed up as: “show me that we can build a team capable of winning the Champions League.” To convince him to stay, that’s what they are doing. The Frenchman is impressed with the additions, and believes that Pochettino will be able to make this team something really special. But he has not yet signed a new contract.
So far, PSG is winning this passing window. But, anyway, the feeling within the club and the recruiting department is that the purchase of players is not over yet and there will be more additions.
Ten years ago, Qatar Sports Investments took over the club and has been behind the Champions League ever since. There is a firm belief that with Pochettino at the helm and with such a fantastic squad at their disposal, plus the experiences of the last two seasons, they have never been so close to being able to achieve that goal.