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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.