Paris Saint-Germain’s summer transfer window was one of the most exciting in history.
Benefiting mainly from the free agency of several world-famous stars, the Parc des Princes has gone on to add Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and of course Lionel Messi to their ranks. Achraf Hakimi has been signed for an initial €60m (£52m/$71m) from Inter, while promising left-back Nuno Mendes has joined from Sporting Lisbon.
These additions gave them a range of Galactico pedigree, yet the results were more exciting in marketability than they were in the field.
Among the summer arrivals, only Hakimi has been a real fan on a regular basis.
Wijnaldum struggled to find a role in Mauricio Pochettino’s side, Ramos spent the vast majority of the campaign battling injuries and Messi was, unbelievably, just one Ligue 1 goal.
Paris Saint-Germain opened a 13-point lead at the top of the French standings, largely due to the individual quality of Kylian Mbappe and not any cohesion within the team, while in the Champions League, the Parisians were punished for their second place finish. their group by pairing them with Real Madrid in an impressive round of 16 match.
So, what kind of transportation activity can we expect at the Parc des Princes during the winter window? goal It explains all…
Obviously PSG haven’t really made their stride this season, but that’s not a problem that at the moment they are in a position to get out of it.
The financial problems caused by Covid-19 have not left PSG unaffected, and while they have managed to attract big names in the summer, they have expanded their budget for the season and are unlikely to seek any further additions in January.
Instead, the bulk of January’s transfer work at PSG will focus on trying to reduce the bloated squad.
PSG have already succeeded in offloading Rafinha to Real Sociedad on a loan deal, but as many as seven or eight other players could follow the Brazilian out of the house.
Indeed, the club will be listening to offers from professional midfielders Ander Herrera, one of the team’s best performing early-season players, and Leandro Paredes, who has long been linked with a return to Serie A.
Likewise, in defense, Thilo Kehrer and Abdou Diallo are two players who could leave in January.
Dexterity is a strength for both players, and PSG are unlikely to allow both to leave, with the Germany international under more threat.
Likewise, Layvin Kurzawa is not in Pochettino’s plans, and his priority is to find a player at left-back, while third goalkeeper Sergio Rico is another who could be sold.
The Parc des Princes’ most famous exit this January might be Wijnaldum’s exit.
The Dutch international has already been linked with a return to the Premier League after an ineffective start to life in France.
PSG are keen to keep Wijnaldum on their records, and if he were to leave, he would most likely be on loan.
Mauro Icardi’s situation is a little different. PSG could end up letting him leave on loan but they’d rather find a buyer for the Argentine.
Icardi was the main victim of Messi’s arrival, with Mbappe now filling in the role of the 29-year-old through the attacking center.
The former Inter captain contributed only five goals and brought nothing else to the team, while he was in the news for his off-field relationship with his wife and agent Wanda Nara than for his contribution in attack.
Juventus have long been a fan of Icardi and Turin appears to be their potential destination. However, the Bianconeri simply do not have the money for a permanent transfer at the moment, so it remains to be seen if PSG will accept their loan offer.
Elsewhere, loan deals for juniors El Chadaille Bitshiabu and Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe may also be agreed.
Of course, the big PSG transfer story remains the future of Mbappe, whose contract expires in the summer. Sporting director Leonardo spent much of the 2021 fight to secure the future of the club’s World Cup winner but failed to achieve that goal.
Now, Mbappe is free to speak to the biggest clubs in Europe and it is widely expected that he will commit to his future with Real Madrid.
Notably, PSG have agreed that they are now the second favorite to acquire the attacking star next season, with the 23-year-old set to follow his heart to the Bernabeu in one of the greatest free agency moves in history.
However, a deal may not be announced until the end of the season.
Mbappe is not the only player PSG could lose to a Spanish giant. Xavi Simmons may return to Barcelona after three years in France.
The 18-year-old midfielder has made only three first-team appearances but has built a strong reputation within the academy and is a player the club is looking to keep.
Another important contract issue to be resolved is that of Angel Di Maria.
He has an additional year option at the Parc des Princes when his current deal expires in the summer. The odds seem to be taken in favor.
So while the potential for mega deals over the course of January appears slim, there is a lot that needs to be done to keep Leonardo busy.
Obviously the priority will be to seek a breakthrough in Mbappe’s talks, but with the prospects of this prolonging with each day, getting rid of fat from an overly large squad is key.