Paris St Germain stunned world football when they landed Neymar Jr for a world-record fee of €222m with many expecting the 26-year-old’s arrival to signal high-profile departures from the Parc des Princes.
If reports carried by Bild are correct, a fire-sale is about to begin at PSG. UEFA set to rule that the eventual €180m signing of Kylian Mbappe, 18, from AS Monaco will be accounted for in the same period, ensuring they fall foul of Financial Fair Play regulations.
The army of lawyers employed by the French club are sure to argue to the contrary but UEFA is determined to show European football that FFP means business. Aleksander Ceferin, the UEFA president, declared that “we are not afraid to punish them; no-one is above the law.”
The ultimate sanction of exclusion from the Champions League is unlikely but a hefty fine and severely restricted squad will almost certainly see PSG struggle to make an impact on the competition next season.
To avoid punishment, a fire-sale is likely in January with Premier League clubs already alerted to the availability of Julian Draxler, 24. The German international is heavily linked with a move to Arsenal – and has been for a number of seasons – with the cash-rich Gunners able to pay the fee in one lump sum. Real Madrid are also believed to be interested.
Speculation over the future of 24-year-old Marco Verratti was rife this summer with Manchester United reportedly interested, as well as FC Barcelona which might end their interest in Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, 25.
It’s sure to be busy in Paris this winter but the question is how do PSG stop the Mbappe deal undermining their season?