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 has been dismissed from his Parc des Princes role and replaced by Luis Enrique while Lionel Messi as well as Sergio Ramos have also left the capital club. Kylian Mbappe could not let this summer pass without the headlines being about him and he has indicated to PSG that he will not action the additional final year of his contract. It makes him a free agent come summer 2024 which has created its annual rumor mayhem to the point where he is not on the club’s Asian summer tour. Now the subject of a mega-money offer from Saudi Arabia which he is not engaging with, Marco Verratti could yet make the move.
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 and now Arnau Tenas from Barcelona. Netherlands international Simons has followed El Chadaille Bitshiabu to RB Leipzig while Mauro Icardi has joined Galatasaray permanently as Luis Enrique gets to grips with his new squad on a tour of Japan and South Korea. 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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PSG’s preseason slate
- July 21 — PSG 2, Le Havre 0 (in Poissy)
- July 22 — Japan and South Korea Tour 2023 started
- July 25 — PSG 0, Al-Nassr 0 (in Osaka)
- July 28 — PSG 2, Cerezo 3 (in Osaka)
- August 1 — PSG 1, Inter 2 (in Tokyo)
- August 3 — PSG 3, Jeonbuk 0 (in Busan)
- August 4 — Japan and South Korea Tour 2023 ended
- August 12 — PSG vs. Lorient (Ligue 1 opener)
Rumor: Goncalo Ramos
August 7 — PSG could be about to land their long coveted No. 9 with a deal for Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos close. The Portuguese giants should ultimately land around $80 million as part of the full package including add-ons for the Selecao Portuguesa star who is expected to pen a contract until 2028 this coming week after his medical. Ramos’ move could even be completed within the week considering how close an initial loan with an obligation to buy next summer is to being finalized. PSG and Portugal international strikers have a glorious history together given club legend Pedro Miguel Pauleta’s time in Paris from 2003-08. Ramos was Manchester United’s backup option should a deal for main target Rasmus Hojlund have failed, but Luis Campos has been eyeing the Benfica man since his arrival at PSG one year ago.
Kylian Mbappe on the market
August 6 — 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. 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 will kick-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.despite scoring in a 2-0 preseason friendly win over Le Havre before the squad left France.
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 which had evolved by mid-June with the news that the 24-year-old 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.”
Rumor: Ousmane Dembele
August 5 — PSG had 24 hours to sign the France international for $55 million last weekend due to a La Liga release clause in his current contract in Catalonia. Dembele had provisionally agreed terms and accepted the move, but the French champions were unable to activate that set release amount before Monday’s deadline expired. Despite Barca offering a new deal, a Parisien offensive is still luring the FIFA 2018 World Cup winner away from Spotify Camp Nou with a five-year contract. Dembele and Mbappe are known to be close despite the fact that the 24-year-old could yet leave Parc des Princes this summer and Xavi confirmed that Dembele wanted to leave Barcelona for Paris so left him out of the friendly vs. Milan.
Barca and PSG are now close to a deal outside of that set La Liga release clause which is of a similar value and could be settled this weekend: “Ousmane Dembele told us that he wants to leave and join PSG,” said Xavi while still in the U.S. “We cannot compete — the PSG bid is huge and out of the market. He spoke with Luis Enrique and Nasser Al Khelaifi. It hurts me because we took care of him to make him happy here. But we cannot compete so he is leaving.”
Xavi later added: “I asked Dembele the real reason behind this choice to join PSG, he was happy here… Well, he did not answer in any clear way. It is probably a personal reason.” Dembele was in Paris last Thursday to undergo medical tests over the weekend ahead of penning his deal with the capital club until 2028, but the Frenchman’s arrival is currently delayed due to paperwork. With the Asian tour now over, Dembele’s natural width and attacking threat will be a blessing for Luis Enrique who only got to unleash Neymar in the final friendly against Jeonbuk which saw the Brazilian superstar score twice.
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.”
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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.
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.
Neymar expects ‘loveless’ stay
July 20 — The saga of Kylian Mbappe’s PSG future rumbles on, but not much has been said of Neymar since theto Saudi Arabia after Lionel Messi opted for Major League Soccer and Inter Miami instead. The fallen Brazilian superstar is the subject of interest from clubs this summer, but many are reluctant to gamble on a player who is the wrong side of 30, on massive wages and under contract for a few more years. According to L’Equipe, PSG will not consider parting ways with Messi, Mbappe and Neymar in the same summer — something which would also be a hammer blow for Ligue 1’s image as domestic and international TV rights come up for bidding later this year — and the uncertainty over the French superstar could lead to the Brazil international staying at Parc des Princes. Luis Enrique, confirmed as Christophe Galtier’s replacement as head coach, has worked with Neymar before and the pair won the UEFA Champions League together in 2015 and were also part of PSG’s Remontada nightmare of 2017.
“I hope to be at PSG,” Neymar told influencer Casimiro Miguel. “I have a contract with PSG and so far no one has told me anything. Even if there is no love between the fans and the players, I will be there. With love or without love, but with Neymar. Leo has already won everything, his family has been very affected during these two years at PSG. I understand him, his family too. He went to a country where he will be well received, where he will live a completely different life and where his family will feel very good in Miami. The Galacticos did not win the Champions League, so that is part of what happened with us. We had a very strong team. Leo, Kylian and I are three of the world’s best, we know that, but it did not fit — it was not good for us. Obviously, we wanted to win everything, but sometimes football is not good, is not fair.”
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 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.”
Luis Enrique replaces Christophe Galtier
July 5 — Our first piece of official PSG news ahead of the 2023-24 season was the French champions confirming that Christophe Galtier has been dismissed as head coach. Although, as reported by CBS Sports, . just hours later.
“At the end of the 2022-2023 season, PSG informed Christophe Galtier of its decision to terminate his contract as first-team coach,” read the Ligue 1 giants’ official statement. “The Club would like to pay tribute to his professionalism and commitment, which helped the Rouge et Bleu win a historic eleventh French Championship title and a Trophee des Champions. Under his guidance, PSG won their 11th Ligue 1 title, becoming the most successful club in the history of the French Championship.”
After a lengthy delay,at their shiny new training facility that same day. The former Spain national team boss has signed a two-year deal at Parc des Princes and becomes the French champions’ fourth head coach in the past five years after Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino and Christophe Galtier. Luis Enrique is the third Spanish speaker from the past five appointed bosses and the second Spaniard after Unai Emery. “I am delighted to be joining Paris in order to enjoy a new experience,” said Enrique upon being confirmed by the Ligue 1 giants. “It is so exciting to meet new people, to live in this city, to learn a new language and, above all, to manage PSG.”