It was another majorly underwhelming season for Paris Saint-Germain in 2022-23 with just their historic 11th French title to show from Christophe Galtier’s time in charge after UEFA Champions League and Coupe de France failure. The Frenchman was dismissed from his Parc des Princes role and replaced by Luis Enrique while Lionel Messi as well as Sergio Ramos also left the capital club. Kylian Mbappe could not let this summer pass without the headlines being about him and indicated to PSG that he would not action the additional final year of his contract. It makes him a free agent come summer 2024 which created its annual rumor mayhem to the point where he was not on the club’s Asian summer tour, but he has since been reintegrated with an extended contract now possible again.
Better news on the incomings front with Milan Skriniar arriving from Inter alongside Marco Asensio from Real Madrid, Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP, Lee Kang In from RCD Mallorca, Lucas Hernandez from Bayern Munich, Cher Ndour from Benfica, Xavi Simons from PSV Eindhoven, Arnau Tenas from Barcelona, Goncalo Ramos from Benfica and now Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona. Netherlands international Simons has followed El Chadaille Bitshiabu to RB Leipzig while Mauro Icardi joined Galatasaray permanently, Leandro Paredes and Renato Sanches have both joined Roma and Abdou Diallo moved to Al-Arabi SC. Luis Enrique got to grips with his new squad on a tour of Japan and South Korea, but parts are still being added to his impressive squad. Just your usual summer transfer window in Paris, then…
We keep you abreast of all of the major PSG storylines from this summer.
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Frankfurt’s Kolo Muani wants PSG
August 30 — With the end of the transfer window in sight, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani has gone public with his desire to leave the Bundesliga for a Ligue 1 return with PSG. The France international spoke publicly and confirmed not only the French champions’ interest in what would be a club record sale for the German outfit, but also his desire to make the move to Parc des Princes this summer. “I owe Eintracht Frankfurt a lot,” said Kolo Muani to Sky in Germany. “I have taken the fans to my heart and have always behaved in a highly professional way. I always gave everything for the club until the very end. However, it is no secret that PSG made a record offer for me. A move to Paris is now a unique opportunity for me. I would like to move to Paris and have also informed the people in charge. I hope and wish that Eintracht will agree to Paris’ offer and that this move will now be made possible for me.” The 24-year-old from Bondy could team up with Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele in attack for Luis Enrique’s side if the deal is done before the summer window closes.
Further to that, Frankfurt confirmed on Wednesday that Kolo Muani had skipped training ahead of Thursday’s UEFA Europa Conference League qualifier against Levski Sofia owing to his “intention to move clubs before the end of the transfer window” which the German club have responded to. “This is not the Randal we have gotten to know and we know his real character,” said Eintracht board member for sport Markus Krosche. “He is being bombarded at the moment and the result is this reaction, which is wrong, as we have made clear to him and his entourage along with all the ramifications. We will contest the match against Levski Sofia without him. For us it is clear: this behavior has no influence on transfer business. What matters now is the important game against Sofia. That has utmost priority and great significance for the club. Our team have a high level of quality and are fully focused on the game.” Kolo Muani is reportedly in Paris already in an attempt to push through the move to PSG by the end of this week, but going the other way could be Hugo Ekitike who Frankfurt have shown an interest in and could yet sign before the transfer window closes.
Sergio Rico leaves hospital
August 18 — PSG boss Luis Enrique shared some wonderful news ahead of the trip to face Toulouse in Ligue 1 with goalkeeper Sergio Rico finally out of hospital after his awful horse riding accident at the end of last season: “I would like to send a message to Sergio Rico, who is being discharged from hospital today, wishing him a good recovery and all the best to him and his family,” said the Spanish tactician of his fellow countryman. “I am feeling pretty good,” added Rico. “I need to take it easy for a few more months and continue to recover at home. Everything is under control and we have to follow the doctors’ instructions, which is the most important thing. I want to thank you for the respect you have shown me, my wife and all my family. I want to say thank you to the world of football, to Paris my club, to Sevilla, to my team-mates, to the players who played with me who sent me messages of support, the people who took a minute of their time.”
Neymar joins Al-Hilal
August 17 — Neymar has joined Al-Hilal, giving the Saudi Arabian giants the superstar name that they have coveted all summer long and freeing PSG from a player who they had been desperate to part ways with for several years. The Brazilian, whose $243 million move from Barcelona to PSG in the summer of 2017 remains the most expensive transfer in football history, moved to the Saudi Pro League on a two year contract. Neymar agreed to a package that in totality is comparable to the $219 million a year that Cristiano Ronaldo earns at Riyadh rivals Al-Nassr. PSG received a fee said to be worth $98.5 million, a significant upswing on the $49 million Al-Hilal had initially hoped would be enough to seal the deal.
Securing Neymar brings to an end Al-Hilal’s summer long pursuit of one of the game’s biggest names, a transfer saga that has taken them through all three of PSG’s marquee attackers from last season. Lionel Messi had long been the number one target of the Saudi Pro League in its entirety, after he chose Inter Miami CBS Sports first revealed that an Al-Hilal delegation had travelled to Paris in an attempt to persuade Neymar that he should make the move to the kingdom. Lines of communication remained open between player and suitor though Al-Hilal’s interest briefly cooled when they offered almost $1.1 billion for what would have amounted to a season-long rental of Kylian Mbappe. James Benge’s story of the move can be read in full here.
“It is always difficult to say goodbye to an amazing player like Neymar, one of the best players in the world,” said PSG President and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi as the “legendary” Brazilian said goodbye to his former teammates. “I will never forget the day he arrived at PSG and what he has contributed to our Club and our project over the last 6 years. We had a great moment and Neymar will always be a big part of our history. I would like to thank Neymar and his family. We wish Neymar all the very best for the future and his next adventure.”
Confirmed exits: Leandro Paredes and Renato Sanches
August 16 — PSG and Roma did a double deal within the space of a few hours with the Italian outfit signing Leandro Paredes and Renato Sanches from the French champions. The Argentina international has joined Jose Mourinho’s side permanently having already had a loan and permanent stint there before while the Portuguese star is on loan with an option to buy at Stadio Olimpico after a difficult year in Paris. Paredes had been a PSG player for four years but spent last season on loan with Juventus unsuccessfully despite the FIFA 2022 World Cup win with the Albiceleste. Sanches was a Euro 2016 winner with Portugal in France and Ligue 1 champion with Lille OSC before joining PSG ahead of last season.
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Confirmed exit: Abdou Diallo
August 15 — Senegal international defender Abdou Diallo has left PSG after four years at Parc des Princes. The 27-year-old has joined Al-Arabi SC in Qatar and was emotional about his exit from the capital club: “Out of sight, but close to my heart,” said 2021 Africa Cup of Nations winner Diallo. “I will always be a Parisian and grateful to have worn this shirt.” Medical chief Christophe Baudot was also confirmed to be leaving around the same time as was Djeidi Gassama who joined Championship club Sheffield Wednesday.
PSG’s Kylian Mbappe reinstated
August 13 — Paris Saint-Germain have reinstated Kylian Mbappe as a senior player after “very constructive and positive discussions” ahead of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Lorient in Ligue 1. The French champions announced on Sunday that the France national team captain is available once more to head coach Luis Enrique having last featured in the first preseason friendly win vs. Le Havre.
Mbappe, 24, was seen in high spirits at Parc des Princes over the weekend alongside latest summer signing and fellow Frenchman Ousmane Dembele. PSG confirmed the following day that the former Monaco man is once again a part of the senior setup having been demoted to what is called the “loft” for transferable players.
“After very constructive and positive discussions between Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappe before the PSG vs. Lorient match this Saturday August 12,” read an official club statement on Sunday after an acrimonious summer standoff which saw him banished from the senior side was ended by chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi. “The player was reinstated to first training team this morning.”
On top of Mbappe’s reinstatement, talks are now advancing rapidly to resolve the question of Les Parisiens’ No. 7 and his future with the capital outfit.
Kylian Mbappe saga
August 12 — Barely a day goes by this summer without Kylian Mbappe being somewhere close to the headlines and the French superstar has worked hard to ensure that has rarely been the case during those long summer weeks without soccer. Mbappe is currently in Paris while his PSG teammates are on their Asian tour in Japan after being left out of Luis Enrique’s traveling party despite scoring in a 2-0 preseason friendly win over Le Havre before the squad left France. Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia tabled a staggering world record offer in excess of $332 million to the French champions which could have seen the 24-year-old earn around $776 million in one year with the possibility to join Real Madrid in 2024, but L’Equipe report that Mbappe has not even engaged in talks — despite being allowed to by his employers.
Now that we are into August, the PSG-imposed deadline for Mbappe to action a one-year contract extension in Paris has passed which means that he is effectively transfer listed. In the same week that PSG kicked off the Ligue 1 season at home to Lorient, Mbappe remains in the “loft” of unwanted players in Paris which can happen without legal consequence until the summer transfer window shuts. He was not included in Luis Enrique’s squad for that 0-0 at Parc des Princes. “This is a situation which has already happened in the past — before I arrived,” said Luis Enrique ahead of the Lorient game. “A positive outcome was found then and I hope that something is found again so that it will end with an agreement between the club and player. That is something that I would love to happen.”
The ex-Monaco academy product’s reluctance to even speak with Al-Hilal has added to the suspicion in Paris that there is an agreement with Real for next summer which is why he is so set on one final term with PSG before signing off after the 2024 Olympic Games in the capital. Back in late May, Mbappe was adamant that he would be staying on for the 23-24 campaign which had evolved by mid-June with the news that the 24-year-old will not extend his PSG stay beyond 2024 with Real keener than ever to bring him to Santiago Bernabeu. Mbappe, who recently spent time in his father Wilfried’s homeland of Cameroon, told France Football that he feels his achievements in France and with PSG have been “trivialized” as he put it to the L’Equipe-owned publication.
Former Sporting Director Leonardo, who was dismissed at the end of the 2021-22 season just as Mbappe extended his contract in Paris, has also poured fuel on the fire with his own opinion on the situation when the Brazilian spoke with L’Equipe: “For the good of PSG, I think the time has come for Kylian to go, no matter what. PSG existed before him and it will exist after him. He has been in Paris for six years and, over those six seasons, five different clubs have won the Champions League — none of which had Mbappe in their ranks. That means it is entirely possible to win this competition without him. With his behavior over the last two years, Mbappe is showing that he is not yet a player capable of really guiding a team. He is a great player, but not a leader. He is a great goalscorer, but not a creative one. It is hard to build a team around him.”
Done Deal: Ousmane Dembele
August 12 — PSG finally completed the signing of Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona just hours before kicking off the Ligue 1 season at home to Lorient. The France international returns to his home country after spells with Borussia Dortmund and Barca and has signed a contract until 2028 at Parc des Princes. Dembele, 26, broke through at senior level with Rennes and was part of Les Bleus’ FIFA 2018 World Cup-winning squad as well as the 2022 vintage which finished runners-up in Qatar. The Frenchman will wear the No. 23 jersey in Paris but was not signed in time to feature in the opener against Lorient. “I am delighted to be joining PSG and cannot wait to play for my new club,” said Dembele. “I hope I can continue to grow here and make all the club’s fans proud.” Chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi also added a message upon Dembele’s arrival: “We are delighted to welcome Ousmane to PSG where he will be an important and committed player for our Club,” said the Qatari supremo. “The passion and determination shown by Ousmane as he has signed for PSG is fantastic and perfectly corresponds to the attitude required of all of our players.” Dembele watched PSG draw 0-0 with Lorient from the stands alongside a smiling and seemingly happy Kylian Mbappe who was delighted with the move.
Done Deal: Goncalo Ramos
August 7 — PSG have completed the signing of their new No. 9 from Benfica with Goncalo Ramos arriving on an initial loan with an obligation for the French champions to buy next summer. The Portuguese giants will get around $80 million in total for the 22-year-old who will be under contract at Parc des Princes until 2028. Ramos was welcomed to PSG by club legend and former Portugal international Pedro Miguel Pauleta who captained Les Parisiens for three of his five-year stay between 2003-08. Sporting advisor Luis Campos has been keeping tabs on the current Portugal international hotshot since he arrived in the French capital one year ago. “I am very proud and happy to join PSG,” Ramos said upon arrival. “PSG are one of the biggest clubs in the world with one of the best squads.” Ramos was also Manchester United’s backup option should a deal for main target Rasmus Hojlund have failed.
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PSG rubbish Luis Enrique reports
August 3 — Luis Enrique is just weeks into his new job as PSG head coach yet there has already been speculation that the Spanish tactician is frustrated by the situation he has inherited — notably regarding Kylian Mbappe’s future. The French champions have dismissed the Luis Enrique reports as “complete nonsense” which also extends to claims made regarding sporting advisor Luis Campos who has been linked with an exit after this summer’s transfer window closes: “today’s rumors are as ridiculous as they are completely out of place.” Luis Enrique later took to social media with an “all for one and one for all” post suggesting commitment to the cause and solidarity with his newly assembled staff.
Done Deal: Arnau Tenas
July 30 — PSG have taken a step towards rebuilding their goalkeeping roster with the signing of Arnau Tenas after his exit from Barcelona. The 22-year-old Spaniard is well known by Luis Enrique and will come in as backup to Gianluigi Donnarumma with Keylor Navas still expected to move on permanently this summer. With Sergio Rico lucky to have escaped a freak horse accident with his life, Tenas now forms part of a new-look shot stopping unit at Parc des Princes. “I am very happy to be joining this great club and to be part of the PSG goalkeeping family,” he said, “Some very good keepers have marked the history of PSG. Of course, I also have a big thought for Sergio Rico.”
Confirmed exit: Mauro Icardi
July 28 — Galatasaray have confirmed the permanent signing of Mauro Icardi from PSG after a successful loan spell last season. The Argentina international’s departure brings in just over $10 million for the French champions while the Turkish giants bring back a player who scored 22 goals as part of Okan Buruk’s title-winning team. Icardi, 30, was initially prolific for PSG after arriving from Inter before personal problems derailed his time in the French capital. The South American could yet be joined by compatriot Leandro Paredes who is also unwanted by Les Parisiens and has been told to find himself a new club with Gala keen for around $6.5 million.
Marco Verratti close to exit?
July 26 — PSG could be on the verge of cashing in on Marco Verratti with the Italy international close to joining Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia for around $33 million. The 30-year-old Azzurri star was the darling of the Parc des Princes crowd for years but saw public opinion finally turn against him last year. Verratti is expected to sign a three-year contract with the Saudi Pro League club who just recently tried to tempt teammate Mbappe — if the value of the deal can be agreed with PSG. Luis Enrique has used the former Pescara man sparingly so far this preseason with the midfield being rebuilt with new elements including Manuel Ugarte. Although Verratti has been a key element for PSG since the early days of the Qatari project, emotional ties have arguably shielded him from greater criticism than he has already been exposed to. “I usually keep our conversations private — what they told me and what I told them,” said Luis Enrique of Neymar and Marco Verratti ahead of the Lorient game. “I suggest that you pay attention to my actions. You are hearing my words, but it is my actions which will express my opinion very clearly to you.”
Done deal: Xavi Simons
July 19 — PSG moved quickly to action their option to bring Xavi Simons back from PSV Eindhoven after a productive season in the Netherlands. The 20-year-old Dutch international has rejoined the French champions on a contract until 2027 and has immediately joined RB Leipzig on loan just days after El Chadaille Bitshiabu moved there on a permanent deal. Simons decided to accept a Parc des Princes return after being pitched the project beyond this season and he will continue his development in Germany while PSG sort out Kylian Mbappe and Neymar’s futures. Here is a more detailed look at how Simons could be a key piece for Les Parisiens beyond this coming campaign.
Confirmed exit: El Chadaille Bitshiabu
July 18 — PSG have allowed talented youngster El Chadaile Bitshiabu to leave the French capital for German youth development specialists RB Leipzig. The 18-year-old saw the likes of Milan Skriniar and Lucas Hernandez added to the squad ahead of him while last season was difficult at times for the academy graduate. Leipzig have paid nearly $17 million for the 2005-born talent who agreed to the move before his medical on Monday. There remain doubts about Castello Lukeba’s proposed switch to the Red Bulls from Lyon given that the Bundesliga side have already paid big money to land Lois Openda from RC Lens this summer. PSG are due to cash in on Mauro Icardi as well as Bitshiabu which could raise funds to target OL talent Bradley Barcola who the Germans are also keen on while Manchester United target Rasmus Hojlund was another name PSG looked into recently. Another name has also surfaced in PSG’s search for attacking options over the past weekend with Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic gaining in credibility by the day.
Kylian Mbappe and internationals return
July 17 — Luis Enrique has been boosted by the arrival of his PSG international stars with preseason action set to start later this month. Kylian Mbappe was among those returning to the French capital for a first taste of the Ligue 1 giants’ brand new training facility with Danilo Pereira, Marco Asensio and Fabian Ruiz also present as well as Achraf Hakimi and Marco Verratti. Neymar, Presnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes and Nordi Mukiele are continuing their recoveries from injury, but the new Spanish boss now has most of his senior stars available to train ahead of this week’s friendly vs. Le Havre before leaving for Japan tour.
Done deal: Cher Ndour
July 12 — PSG’s latest signing Cher Ndour arrives on a five-year deal until 2028 having agreed a free transfer after recently leaving Portuguese giants SL Benfica. The 18-year-old Italy youth international from Brescia starred at youth level in Portugal after leaving Atalanta back in 2020 and has been handed the No. 27 jersey at Parc des Princes. “I am really moved,” said Ndour. “It is a mix of emotions, but it is happiness above all because PSG is one of the best clubs in the world with so many winners, and for me, it is an honour to be a part of this new family.”
Done deal: Lucas Hernandez
July 9 — PSG completed the signing of France international Lucas Hernandez from Bayern Munich on a contract until 2028. The 27-year-old was part of Les Bleus’ 2018 World Cup winning squad along with new teammates Kylian Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe. Along with Milan Skriniar, Hernandez is part of a major defensive overhaul now that Sergio Ramos has left Parc des Princes. “I am really excited,” said Hernandez upon joining the Ligue 1 champions from the German giants. “I have been waiting to join PSG for a long time, and it has finally happened. It is a very special day for me and I am very happy to be here.”
Done deal: Lee Kang In
July 8 — Another day and another new arrival for PSG as Lee Kang In joined the French champions from Real Mallorca on a contract until 2028. The 22-year-old South Korea international arrives at Parc des Princes for around $24 million hot on the heels of Manuel Ugarte, Milan Skriniar and Marco Asensio. Luis Enrique has only been in his new job as Les Parisiens’ head coach for a few days and he already has a very different squad to the one left behind by the departed Christophe Galtier. Lee came through the ranks with Valencia before joining Mallorca and passed his PSG medical tests before joining the Taegeuk Warriors for their June friendlies. “It is incredible to be able to join PSG,” said the new No. 19 — the capital club’s first South Korean player in history. “It is one of the biggest clubs in the world, with some of the greatest players in the world. I cannot wait to start this new adventure.”
Done deal: Manuel Ugarte
July 7 — What a past 24 hours or so it was for PSG with three signings confirmed within days of Luis Enrique’s arrival. Manuel Ugarte followed Milan Skriniar and Marco Asensio through the door at Parc des Princes with the Uruguay international confirmed on a contract until 2028. The 22-year-old stood out for Sporting in midfield and follows Nuno Mendes to the French capital from Lisbon. Ugarte cost PSG around $65 million while Skriniar and Asensio were both free agents and the French champions’ squad already looks different to the one which underwhelmed last season. “I am really happy to take this big step in my career at such a great club,” said Ugarte upon signing. “I am going to give my all for PSG.”
Done deal: Marco Asensio
July 6 — There is a saying about buses that you wait for one and then two come along at the same time … That must have been how PSG fans were feeling after Luis Enrique was confirmed as the French champions’ new head coach. Starved of news until Christophe Galtier’s sacking, both Milan Skriniar and Marco Asensio — free transfers — were confirmed as Les Parisiens’ first summer window signings within hours of each other. “It is a privilege to be part of this great club,” said the Spain international. “I am looking forward to joining my new teammates and working with them to achieve some great goals.”
Done deal: Milan Skriniar
July 6 — PSG finally confirmed the signing of Milan Skriniar 12 months on from their first attempts to land the Slovakia international from Inter. The 28-year-old arrives at Parc des Princes as a free agent after leaving the beaten UEFA Champions League finalists and joins just one day after Luis Enrique was unveiled as the French giants’ new boss. Skriniar is expected to be part of a defensive overhaul which also includes Lucas Hernandez who has signed from Bayern Munich. “I am very happy to be part of this wonderful club,” he said. “PSG is one of the best clubs in the world, with world-class players and fantastic fans.”