Soccer

Kylian Mbappe is staying with PSG, but could Neymar leave and Zidane arrive?

It is done. Kylian Mbappe remains a Paris Saint-Germain player and the French giants have succeeded in keeping their star man out of Real Madrid’s clutches. Now is where the hard work starts and that is building a project around the 23-year-old which is capable of finally winning the UEFA Champions League. With their key piece now set, it is a question of PSG working out who to keep around him and who to let go, and perhaps most importantly of all, who to oversee that reconstruction both on and off the pitch.

We look at the potential ins and outs at the capital club:

In: Zinedine Zidane?

The chances of Mauricio Pochettino continuing beyond the end of this season are slim to none. The Argentine is expected to be moved on and the Frenchman is top of the wish list of PSG’s Qatari owners — even if the former Real man is still keen on the France national team job. However, with Mbappe now certain to continue, the Ligue 1 champions’ case for Zidane to return to his homeland is stronger than ever.

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Out: Neymar?

Such a revolution could also have unexpected big-name casualties with the Brazilian arguably the most at threat given the disappointing overall nature of his time in Paris. Few clubs, if any, have the necessary funds to sign him, but PSG would listen to any serious offers if they do happen to arrive this summer.

Out: Angel Di Maria

Already confirmed to be leaving, FC Metz at home was his final appearance as a Parisien star and the Argentine leaves as one of the best servants of this PSG side. Age has caught up with him in recent years, but El Fideo will still leave a sizable hole in the starting XI and is also a personality with the squad as well as one of the most experienced figures. He managed a goal on Sunday in his final league match with the club.

In: Luis Campos

Leonardo is also expected to follow Pochettino out of the door and that means that a serious squad builder will be needed to construct a solid base. Who better than somebody who already knows Mbappe from his time with Monaco? Campos, a director of football with Monaco and then Lille, enjoyed success with both clubs. A former Real Madrid scout, he can offer an eye for talent unlike many as well as a substantial list of contacts.

Out: Layvin Kurzawa

PSG have been trying to move the Frenchman on for some time after an inexplicable contract extension kept him at Parc des Princes well beyond a natural parting point. Injury-prone and not even eligible for a Ligue 1 medal due to a lack of minutes, the former Monaco man is as undesirable as it gets in the capital.

In: Ousmane Dembele

One of the most high-profile free agents on the market this summer, the France international could leave Barcelona as a free agent and could represent the first step towards PSG developing a solid French core in the future as the likes of Di Maria move on. He would by no means be the big move of the summer, but it would be a double coup for Ligue 1 over La Liga after Mbappe’s decision to stay.

Out: Julian Draxler

Like Kurzawa, the Germany international should have moved on a while ago and may well be joined in the departure lounge by compatriot Thilo Kehrer. Draxler has even been talking up a need for more minutes to safeguard his place within the German setup so appears set to leave if a suitable offer arrives.


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