The Ligue 1 champions have shortlisted a number of high-profile names - with the Juventus star at the very top - while they are also preparing to bid farewell to several playersSPECIAL REPORT
By Simone Rovera
Paris Saint-Germain have made plenty of waves in the transfer market in recent years, luring stars such as Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani to Ligue 1.
And while the French giants are on course for a second successive domestic title and are cruising through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, they have no intention of cutting down on their spending.
PSG's aim is to become the best team in Europe and if they fail to conquer the Champions League this season, then their summer activity should give them an even better chance next term.
In order to reach the European summit, the Parisians are planning more major signings ahead of 2014-15. To make room for the new arrivals, they will offload a number of players from their first team squad.
Goal takes a look at PSG's plans for a summer revolution.
|PSG'S WISHLIST: DAVID LUIZ, POGBA & HAZARD
PSG are keen to add an extra centre-back to their squad and they have earmarked a number of players as potential defensive reinforcements. David Luiz of Chelsea, Mehdi Benatia of Roma and Eliaquim Mangala of Porto have all made the Ligue 1 champions' shortlist. Although they still have faith in Marquinhos, a more experienced partner for Thiago Silva is being considered.
The titleholders are also keeping tabs on a number of right-backs and are eager to bring in some fresh competition for Gregory van der Wiel. Barcelona's Dani Alves is the club's dream target, but they accept it will be a difficult task luring the Brazil international away from his current club. Newcastle's Mathieu Debuchy is a cheaper alternative.
In midfield, Juventus star Paul Pogba remains PSG's No.1 transfer target. Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has held informal talks with his Juventus counterpart Andrea Agnelli to discuss a potential transfer. The PSG chief has also sat down with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola on a number of occasions in recent weeks while finalising the contract renewals of Maxwell and Blaise Matuidi. The Serie A champions will not let go of the energetic midfielder on the cheap, though, and will not open the bidding at less than €60 million.
PSG have therefore already looked at alternatives and Miralem Pjanic is their Plan B. The Bosnia international is in talks with Roma over a new deal, but he could earn €4m per year at PSG against €3m per annum at his current club. Even if Pjanic does sign a contract extension with the Giallorossi, a summer move cannot be ruled out. However, the recent long-term injury to Kevin Strootman means Roma will now be more reluctant to sell.
With Ezequiel Lavezzi possibly on his way out, PSG have set their sights on Eden Hazard to strengthen their attack, but there are two serious obstacles. One is Chelsea's valuation and the other is Jose Mourinho's admiration of the Belgium international. A transfer is therefore all but impossible. Another option is Pedro, who has had to settle for a spot on the bench at Barcelona more than he might be willing to accept.
|GOING OUT: MENEZ, LAVEZZI & PASTORE
The Champions League challengers are also ready to bid farewell to a number of players, with Jeremy Menez all but certain to leave the Parc des Princes this summer. The versatile attacker has an expiring contract and a number of Serie A sides are closely monitoring his situation, including Juventus, AC Milan and Fiorentina.
Another attacker who could be on the move come June is Lavezzi. The Argentine is happy and settled at PSG, but has been unable to replicate the form that saw him become a star at Napoli before his transfer to Ligue 1. Inter were keen to bring the attacker back to Italy last year and PSG are ready to open talks if the Nerazzurri reignite their interest this summer, although he would have to accept a pay-cut.
The future of Brazil international Alex is also in doubt as still no agreement has been reached over a contract renewal. The defender is keen to stay at his current club, but PSG might be tempted to offload the former Chelsea man if a better alternative becomes available for the right price.
Another player who could possibly move on ahead of the 2014-15 campaign is Javier Pastore. The Argentine is happy with his current situation at the club, but his status could change if one of Pogba and Pjanic were to arrive. If the latter joins, Pastore could be used in a part-exchange deal as Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini is a huge fan having first brought the South American to Palermo from Huracan.
Edinson Cavani has also been linked with a transfer and a number of Premier League sides are keeping a close eye on his situation. There have been claims that the 26-year-old is unhappy to play second fiddle behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and would be open to another new adventure. However, a transfer does not seem a realistic option at this point as PSG see the Uruguay international as an integral part of their plans.
Italy international Marco Verratti very much finds himself in the same boat as Cavani. The midfielder has been heavily linked with a return to Serie A, especially Juventus, but PSG are unlikely to let go of the playmaker following his outstanding performances since he joined from Pescara. Verratti has a contract with the French champions until June 2018 and an offer well in excess of €30m will be needed to make PSG even blink.