Uli Hoeneß: “€222m for Neymar is a sign of weakness.”

Bayern Munich’s president Uli Hoeneß feels it is an admission of failure for a club to spend big in the transfer market, as Paris Saint-Germain continue to be linked with an astonishing €222 million swoop to sign Neymar from Barcelona.

The Ligue 1 giants are ready to smash the world transfer record by meeting the enormous release clause in the Brazil international’s contract, although Barca defender Gerard Pique suggested via a Tweet on Sunday that the 25-year-old has been convinced to remain at Camp Nou.

The attacker is yet to confirm his future has been decided, though, and Hoeneß believes such a transfer would be a bad sign.

“This is a sign of weakness,” he said of the outlays being made across Europe. 

“If I have to spend a lot of money to achieve nothing, it is more of a sign that I have not worked as well somewhere else. And that’s why I cannot be interested in spending so much. 

“Not the most expensive transfer is the best, but the one who does the most. 

“I think that is why, in this shark basin – €100m, €200m – we must find our own way.”

Bayern parted with a Bundesliga record fee of €41.5m to capture Corentin Tolisso from Lyon and brought in Niklas Sule from Hoffenheim for a reported €20m.

But they have also snared potential bargains in the form of Serge Gnabry, a cut-price arrival from Werder Bremen, James Rodriguez, signed on loan from Real Madrid, and free transfer Sebastian Rudy, as the team prepares to try and secure a sixth successive Bundesliga title. 

RB Leipzig sprung a surprise to finish second to Bayern last season, but Hoeneß expects a more predictable rival to vie for the championship in 2017-18.

“Leipzig will play a good season again, but the first challenger will surely be Borussia Dortmund,” he said.

Bayern were without a sporting director in coach Carlo Ancelotti’s first campaign in charge last term, after failing to replace Matthias Sammer, who stepped down in July 2016.

According to Hoeness, though, they are now close to making an appointment.

“We will announce a sporting director within the next six weeks,” he said.

“I’ve already said that (executive chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have been looking around, and there have been some talks taking place.”

Alexis joining PSG?

The Arsenal star was in Paris on Friday for talks with PSG’s sporting director and chief executive ahead of a prospective €50 million move to Ligue 1.

The French club are growing increasingly confident of signing the Arsenal star for a €50 million fee inclusive of add-ons following preliminary talks with the Gunners. PSG say “nothing is done yet” regarding a move for Sanchez but the early signs from France suggest it is likely to happen.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that the club’s stance has not changed and their Chilean talisman will not be sold this summer, but contract talks have not progressed as hoped and Sanchez has shown no sign of committing to an extension which would mean he is available to leave on a free transfer when his deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer.

Wenger is currently in China where Arsenal have almost completed their pre-season trip and spoke on Thursday about where Sanchez will play in the Gunners forward line next season, insisting that he will fit into the team alongside club-record summer signing Alexandre Lacazette.

Sanchez’s agent Fernando Felicevich has used interest from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to increase the salary demands for his client with Pep Guardiola’s side confident of signing the 28-year-old throughout the summer.

Felicevich, previously dubbed ‘the king of South American football’ by Forbes magazine, is regarded as a tough negotiator and his negotiation tactics were recently described as ‘dishonest’ by an intermediary for Brazilian club Vasco da Gama.

It’s understood that Felicevich was present in the meeting at Le Royal Monceau with his business partner Matias Aldao, while PSG had their chairman and chief executive Nasser Al-Khelaifi representing them alongside Henrique.

Al-Khelaifi has a close relationship with Wenger and the two are in regular contact regarding football matters which sees the Frenchman take part in TV work for beIN Sports, the media network founded by the man dubbed ‘the most powerful figure in French football’.

Alexis scored 24 goals in the Premier League last season and admitted while back home in Chile that it is his “dream” of playing in the Champions League – a competition that Arsenal aren’t involved in this season following last campaign’s fifth-placed finish.

“The truth is that the decision doesn’t depend on me,” said Sanchez. 

“I have made my decision, but now we wait for a response from Arsenal. It depends on them, I have to wait to know what they want.

“My idea is to play and win the Champions League, it is a dream I have had since I was little.”

Arsenal’s stance regarding Sanchez has not changed and they were confident earlier in the week that the player would return to pre-season training at London Colney following his holidays, along with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin, on July 30.

Roma 1 – 1 PSG (Pen: 3 – 5)


Paris Saint-Germain overcame AS Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup.

Dani Alves made his debut for PSG as the Ligue 1 giants edged Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.

Alves, who signed for PSG earlier this month despite being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, started at right-back in the 1-1 draw at Comerica Park.

Marquinhos gave PSG a 36th-minute lead after a somewhat scrappy first half, but Roma were the better side in the second.

Umar Sadiq levelled proceedings on the hour-mark and Roma had two penalty shouts turned down in a lively second half before penalties were needed to separate the teams.

Only Gerson failed to convert in the shoot-out, with Marquinhos scoring the decisive penalty in the 5-3 success.

While Alves made his debut for PSG, who are linked with Barcelona star Neymar, recruits Hector Moreno and Lorenzo Pellegrini started for Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma.

Both teams consistently broke down in the attacking third in the opening exchanges, although Jese Rodriguez had a great chance in the 21st minute.

The forward was put through but was unable to get the ball under control and the opportunity was wasted.

PSG took a deserved lead nine minutes prior to half-time.

Thiago Motta tried to play a one-two with Jese but went down under a challenge, the ball falling to Marquinhos to put away from inside the area.

The Ligue 1 giants continued to threaten to finish the half, Lucas Moura shooting straight at Roma goalkeeper Alisson after a smart Javier Pastore run.

Both teams made changes at the break and it took time for the substitutes to settle in Detroit.

Alves was perhaps fortunate not to give away a penalty in the 57th minute, the Brazilian bringing down Diego Perotti with a slide tackle in the area, only to collect the ball afterwards.

Roma levelled on the hour-mark through 20-year-old forward Sadiq.

A pass over the top from Gerson saw Sadiq put in behind and the Nigerian finished through Alphonse Areola’s legs from an angle.

Daniele De Rossi, who came off the bench, was the next to go close, the midfielder’s 25-yard free-kick tipped over by Areola in the 65th minute.

The lively Umar was then brought down by Presnel Kimpembe in the area, but penalty pleas were again dismissed.

Blaise Matuidi had three late chances for PSG, including blazing over from close range and missing two one-on-ones as a shoot-out followed.

After the first five penalties were converted, Gerson failed to hit the target with his spot-kick as Roma were beaten.

 

Di Maria wants to stay at PSG


 

Angel Di Maria insists that he wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain despite admitting to difficulties working with Unai Emery last season.

The Argentinian international played 43 times in all competitions in 2016-17 but struggled for form in the early half of the campaign in particular, scoring just once in his first 19 Ligue 1 appearances.

Di Maria has been linked with Inter during recent weeks, despite the Serie A club’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, suggesting that his wage demands would be too high.

But the 29-year-old has no desire to leave Parc des Princes and believes he has become accustomed to the demands of his head coach in the last few months.

“For me, there’s no doubt about it. I want to stay,” he said. “But, for the club, I don’t know. The reality is that my family are well and I’m happy in Paris.

“I know that not everything went well last season. At first, I didn’t quite understand what the coach was asking me. Then we gradually got to know each other and I think people have seen the change in the last few months. I hope I can reproduce that this year.”

PSG claimed a double of Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue trophies in Emery’s first season, but they lost their league title to Monaco and suffered a Champions League exit against Barcelona after a 6-1 hammering in the last-16 second leg.

Di Maria says regaining their domestic crown and battling to reach the final in Europe’s top competition are their primary goals for next term.

“Like every other year: win everything,” he said when asked about PSG’s objectives. “Last season, we won both cups but we lost the championship and we were knocked out of the Champions League.

“This year, we’ll try to go as far as possible in the Champions League and maybe reach the final. Then we have to win back the title and to defend the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.”

Di Maria hopes that Dani Alves, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Juventus, can take PSG a step closer to their first Champions League triumph.

“I’ve only played against him. But I’m happy with his signing as he is a player with huge qualities, who will bring something extra to the team and allow us to improve further,” he added.

Should PSG Move For Sanchez Now?

Arsenal Vs Watford” (CC BY 2.0) by joshjdss

With 13 goals and 7 assists in 20 games this season, Alexis Sanchez has the best attacking output of anyone in Europe’s top five leagues. As the prolific Arsenal attacker enters his prime he is attracting the interest of top Premier League sides along with the European elite. Paris Saint-Germain have expressed their interest in penning a deal with the player in the summer, but would Unai Emery be wise to make a move for the Gunners’ main cannon in January?

In what has become a drawn out set of negotiations, Sanchez’s Arsenal future is still up in the air. The player has a year left on his current contract and is trying to reach an agreement with the London club for an improved deal to extend his stay. According to the Mirror the Chilean is holding out for a salary increase in excess of £200,000-a-week, but former Arsenal player Martin Keown also believes that Arsene Wenger’s unclear future with the club could also be a factor. The Match of the Day Pundit believes that if Wenger leaves in the summer his star player will seek pastures new as well.

There is also the fact that a player of Sanchez’s undeniable world class quality will desperately desire to challenge for titles year in, year out. The 28-year-old will be considering whether the Emirates is the place he can achieve this. PSG could not only offer the former Barcelona man much improved wages, they could also give him the opportunity to challenge for titles every season domestically and in Europe.

Ever since Zlatan Ibrahimović departed to Manchester United in the summer, PSG have been in desperate need of a strong replacement. Edinson Cavani has taken up the goal scoring mantle well (see video above) with 18 goals in Ligue 1 so far, but the Uruguayan needs someone to share the load and link up with. Jese Rodriguez, the summer signing from Real Madrid was acquired to fill this role, but Emery has admitted that the transfer has not gone according to plan and the Spaniard may be on the move again in this transfer window.

Although reports suggest that Emery will make a £60million swoop for Sanchez in the summer, many fans will be thinking that a shock move for the forward now would make more sense. Ahead of the Red and Blues’ crunch Champions League clash against Barcelona, Emery’s side are 40/1 with Betway to win the tournament. Although Sanchez would be cup-tied and ineligible to play for the Paris club in Europe this season, he would provide exceptionally strong cover to challenge in the league while Emery fields a full strength side against Barca.

PSG’s continued dominance of the French top flight may be about to suffer its first major upset this season as Nice and Monaco are currently ahead of the Paris club in the race for the title. Emery has brought in the attacking midfield pairing of Julian Draxler and Giovani Lo Celso already in 2017 as he seeks to gain ground on PSG’s main rivals. But many will be thinking that an out-and-out striker should be top of the agenda. Currently Cavani is the only specialist goal scorer in the squad, and should he suffer injury Emery won’t have many options. There is also the possibility of fatigue if PSG progress in Europe and also have to keep up the hunt in the domestic title race.

PSG should move for Sanchez now and beat their European rivals in singing the ferocious forward. The time seems ripe while his contract disputes are still unresolved, and the player is increasingly dissatisfied with Arsenal’s apparent lack of ambition. PSG need to sign a striker in the window anyway, so why not go for the Gunners man?

5 Transfer Targets to Take PSG to the Next Level

Money talks or money can’t buy me love; it depends on who you listen to as to the effect that cold hard cash has on people.

One thing is for sure: moolah turns heads in football. PSG are the French champions and, according to Forbes Magazine, the fourth highest grossing club on the planet. And yet they haven’t been able to translate such financial muscle to success in the continent’s premier competition, the Champions League.

So who are the new faces that could help push them forwards on Europe’s biggest stage?

Gonzalo Higuain

The beauty of being amongst the richest clubs in the world is that you can pick up the players of those who aren’t by dangling a blank cheque in the right place at the right time.

Napoli aren’t cash poor by any means, but even they would be vulnerable to a huge offer for their prized asset Gonzalo Higuain.

Rumour has it that the Argentine has a £75 million release clause written into his contract to cover for such an eventuality, and so then the choice would be the striker’s: does he want to leave the club that has been home since 2013?

The prospect of linking up with countryman Angel di Maria, and filling Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s big shoes, may prove tempting to a player who at 28 is yet to make his mark on the latter stages of the Champions League; an opportunity a move to Paris may just afford.

N’Golo Kante

Should France go deep into Euro 2016 and even win it, then mega bucks PSG will be looking to sign a key man or two from that side in an attempt to cash in on such national fervour.

One obvious candidate would be the metronomic midfielder N’Golo Kante, who again impressed in his usual low-key fashion in their 2-1 win over Romania in their tournament opener.

The Leicester man has been linked incessantly with a move away from the Premier League title champions in the past few months, and while the club would be loathe to lose such a key player ultimately they are ran rather shrewdly by their Thai owners; and selling a £6 million asset for in excess of £20 million clearly represents smart business.

It has been reported that the Foxes have offered Kante an improved contract of £100,000 – but even that may not be enough to ward off the interest of the Ligue 1 champions.

Dimitri Payet

Another French star who is sure to be on PSG’s radar is Dimitri Payet. An outstanding strike from the West Ham man sealed the deal for Les Bleus in that win over Romania, and it is not the first time that the 29-year-old has caught the eye with his ball striking abilities.

A vintage campaign for the Hammers has elevated Payet to national prominence in his homeland – he hadn’t really featured at international level prior to that – and so again PSG’s scouts are bound to have sat up and taken an interest.

As with Kante, you wouldn’t imagine there would be an inclination to leave his present employer, but money talks and the lure of Champions League football for Payet may well prove definitive in his decision.

Eden Hazard

Sometimes a rumoured transfer just looks a good fit, and Eden Hazard to PSG makes sense given the Belgian’s issues at Chelsea last season.

The winger was far from his best at the Blues, and was even partly blamed for the sacking of Jose Mourinho amid rumours of a dressing room rift. The Special One has gone of course to be replaced by the Italian One, Antonio Conte, but lest we forget that Stamford Bridge will not be seeing European football of any level next term; surely something of a turn off for their personnel.

Hazard continues to refute that a transfer elsewhere is imminent, but we’re savvy enough to not take a professional footballer’s public-facing virtuousness at face value these days.

Grzegorz Krychowiak

This is one of those potential deals in which we’re joining the dots a little, but given the news that the announcement of Sevilla boss Unai Emery as Laurent Blanc’s replacement in the Stade de France hot seat is imminent, we start to look at his present staff and who he might like to bring with him.

One option would be Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak, who starred in his country’s 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Euro 2016 just the other day. The marauding midfielder would be a fine addition in his own right or as a replacement for Marco Verratti, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, Juventus and a host of other clubs in recent times.

The Pole’s all-action style would prove a nice foil to Blaise Matuidi, and obviously the chance to link up with Emery at a club battling it out for Champions League honours will be a mighty temptation for the 26-year-old.

Paris SG 4 – 0 Rennes


Ibra scored 2 goals as PSG destroyed Rennes with a whopping 4 – 0 victory in Ligue 1 on Friday night.

The French champions managed to match their own Ligue 1 points record from 2013-2014. PSG still has three more league games remaining, giving them a chance to beat the 89 points mark. If you want to keep track of Les Parisiens matches, visit PSG Live scores.

Laurent Blanc’s side has made five changes after their win against Lille in the Coupe de la Lige final.

In the second half, they scored two goals in 4 minutes, with Maxwell starting the rally with a wonderful goal before Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck from close range.

After Edinson Cavani hit the crossbar, Ibra got his second goal of the night, making the result 3-0. It was a one-sided match, as Cavani sealed the deal in stoppage time to make it 4-0.

PSG’s goalkeeper wasn’t quite busy in this match, as he was playing against a team who have picked up only one point from their last four matches.

Ibrahimovic: “We are only interested in winning.”

The 34-year old Swedish striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has hailed PSG’s dominance in Ligue 1 after the team made history on Wednesday. 

Ibra scored a goal as PSG beat Lorient (3-1) at Parc des Princes to stretch their unbeaten league run to record breaking 33 matches.

Laurent Blanc made some changes in the starting line-up, and still managed to win 3 points with ease. If you want to bet on PSG’s upcoming matches, visit Bet Bind. There, you can find out which sportsbook works best for you.

Zlatan says that Paris Saint-Germain is fortunate to have such a strong team, as they are aiming for an unprecedented quadruple.

“We have a quality squad and no matter who is on the pitch, the quality remains the same.”

“Our team is only interested in winning and we’re very happy to have set this new record. PSG is ready for the big games that are coming up this season.” – said Ibra, for PSG’s official website.

Is Ibrahimovic staying in PSG beyond this season?

The future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been the hottest topic around PSG’s headquarters these last few days. The Swede’s contract is up this summer, and speculation surrounding his future has been gathering pace for the last couple of months.

If you believe the player himself, then he is definitely staying in Paris beyond this season. He took part in PSG’s 1-0 friendly win over his former club Inter Milan in Doha on Wednesday, where he was booed by his former club’s supporters while he was leaving the field to be substituted. After the game the 34 year old striker said that ‘there was nothing on the table yet’ and that he has a beautiful relationship with PSG and has no intention of leaving the French club.

However, if you listen to the noises that his outspoken agent Mino Raiola has been making over the last couple of months you will definitely get the feeling that Zlatan’s entourage is leveraging their position, ahead of any negotiations which are going to take place before the summer transfer window. In his latest interview with Sky Sports, Raiola has claimed that his client will stay in PSG for the remainder of the season and that he won’t leave the club in January.

His next quotes, though, are sure to spark speculation because he basically left the door open for any of the Premier League’s top clubs to start wooing the Swedish international. In short, Raiola said that his client’s playing style and the passion he has for football are shared by Premier League clubs and supporters respectively. He claimed that by being a free agent, Zlatan can mule over all the offers he gets and then choose which he thinks is the best one. This was a loud and clear ‘come and get him plea’ issued towards whoever was willing to pay attention and listen.

And it’s difficult to see which Premier League club wouldn’t benefit from having Ibrahimovic in their ranks. Several weeks ago, while Mourinho was still at Chelsea, there were reports Zlatan’s agent could engineer a move for the Swede, a self-declared Mourinho disciple, to Stamford Bridge. But now that Mourinho is gone, the Blues interest seems to have waned. However, should Mourinho be reappointed at Old Trafford, we could expect for the rumor to be resurrected again, especially with United’s misfiring attacking options inability to find the back of the net.

Even if any of these two aren’t interested, there are always Arsenal and Man City, both sharing the need of a quality striker and having the resources to afford one. But buyer beware, even though Zlatan is a free agent and no transfer fee will be needed for his purchase, his astronomical wages are sure to be a heavy burden even for financially healthy clubs. And this is without mentioning the bonuses that he will be asking for. They will probably be as high as the mobile bonus offers found in Bonus Wire’s list of casino match bonuses in their online casinos.

If there are no buyers from England, however, there is always the option of joining, the so called retirement home for European stars, the MLS. Clubs in the MLS have the option to have a marquee player in their ranks, meaning that this signing is considered outside of the team’s salary cap and can be given higher wages than other players. This rule was first implemented for Zlatan’s old team mate, David Beckham, and is informally called the Beckham rule.

And rather symbolically, Beckham has joined the bandwagon as well, and invited Ibrahimovic, through the media of course, to join the MLS franchise that he has been building in Miami. However, since the team Beckham has founded will start competing in 2 or 3 years time at best, Ibrahimovic might still have to stay in one of Europe’s top leagues for now.

So whether Ibra stays in Paris or leaves for pastures greener in the summer, this whole thing has the words ‘transfer saga of 2016’ written all over it.

Cabaye in Crystal Palace?

Crystal Palace’s chairman, Steve Parish, has revealed that his team is eager to sign PSG player Yohan Cabaye.

It is believed that the Eagles manager – Alan Padrew would be really happy to reunite with his former playmaker. Besides Crystal Palace, Roma has also shown interest in this 29-year-old midfielder.

“That’s definitely one we would like to do, if we can, it will be massive for the club. He’s a seasoned international. That’s definitely one we’re working on.

“For us to get into the top 10 in the Premier League, we have got make sure we are bringing in top 10 Premier League players.” – said Padrew for “TalkSport”.