PSG set for busy summer transfer window: Varane, Gueye, Piccini...
Having again flopped in the Champions League this season, Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a whole host of signings and departures.
Only a spectacular meltdown can prevent Paris Saint-Germain from winning Ligue 1 this season. Indeed, the Parisian giants can even clinch the championship today: if they beat Strasbourg and Lille lose to Reims, they will be guaranteed a sixth French title in the last seven years. Only Monaco, in 2016/17, have managed to break PSG's recent domestic hegemony.
Domestic success can't mask renewed European failure
However, not even a league and cup double (they face Rennes in the final of the Coupe de France later this month) will serve to salvage what has been yet another season blighted by premature elimination from the Champions League. And with that in mind, PSG are preparing for a busy summer of transfer business. With club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi seemingly keeping faith in sporting director Antero Henrique, it will be the under-fire Portuguese who will be tasked with overseeing a raft of changes to Thomas Tuchel's first-team squad.
Tuchel after two midfielders
Adrien Rabiot is on his way out, and Tuchel has been asking for a midfielder ever since Thiago Motta hung up his boots last summer, so the coach wants two signings in the engine room. Tuchel is an admirer of Everton's Idrissa Gueye and sought to bring the 29-year-old in during the January window, but an agreement could not be reached with the Premier League side. PSG will try again at the end of the season, but are also eyeing midfielders such as Lyon's Tanguy NDombele, Napoli's Allan and Manchester United's Ander Herrera. The Spaniard is out of contract this summer, so would arrive on a free.
Defensive overhaul anticipated
Changes are also in the offing in defence. At 34, Thiago Silva is moving closer and closer to retirement, and the market appears to offer a few attractive options. PSG's prime target is Raphaël Varane, who is thought to be considering his future at Real Madrid - although Los Blancos, and their coach Zinedine Zidane, are ready to do everything within their power to persuade the France international to stay. If Varane does opt to leave, his prohibitive 500m-euro release clause means PSG will have to attempt to negotiate a more affordable fee with Madrid.
PSG have other alternatives if they fail to prise Varane from the Bernabéu, though, led by Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt. However, they face extremely stiff competition from Barcelona for the 70 to 100m-euro-rated 19-year-old, and his club-mate Daley Blind would be a more straightforward option who has experience of elite European competition from his time at United.
New full-backs are on PSG's shopping list, too, and in the French media it is being reported that Tuchel is a fan of Valencia's Cristiano Piccini, with the right-sided Italian defender apparently the best-placed candidate to replace Dani Alves if the ex-Barça man doesn't sign a new deal. At left-back, meanwhile, Cristiano Biraghi is being tipped to join from Fiorentina. PSG are said to be confident of snaring Piccini and Biraghi for around 10m euros each.
Five players seemingly certain for exit
With so many new recruits in line to arrive, a fair few players are expected to be shown the door, with Thomas Meunier, Julian Draxler, Layvin Kurzawa, Christopher Nkunku and Stanley Nsoki reportedly earmarked for summer departures. Alves and Gianluigi Buffon could well also leave, although their situations are different as it is the players themselves who are set to determine their futures.