Meunier Declined Move to Everton Over Lack of European Football

Thomas Meunier’s contract runs out at the end of the season and as ESPN FC‘s Paris Saint-Germain correspondent Jonathan Johnson said on our recent podcast, he is desperate for an extension that will keep him in the French capital. That hasn’t stopped other teams from inquiring about his availability and in a recent interview, the Belgian right-back revealed one Premier League club, in particular, that tried to sign him last summer.

Meunier signed with PSG in 2016 from Club Brugge for a reported €7 million per ESPN and has scored 13 goals and recorded 21 assists in 110 appearances for the capital club. Unfortunately, his social media activity (ESPN explains in detail) has overshadowed his contributions on the pitch and many fans aren’t ready to forgive him. Ahead of PSG’s UEFA Champions League clash against his former club on Tuesday, Meunier spoke to Het Laatste Nieuws (via Culture PSG) about how he had the opportunity to leave the drama behind but chose to stay with the reigning French champions.

“There was interest and there have been conversations, but it never came to a point where I had to decide: Do I sign or not?” Meunier said.

It’s a difficult situation for the 28-year-old but he insists he’s not frustrated.

“No, because I have always made it clear that my ambition was to stay with PSG,” Meunier said. “I did not want to leave. Because playing at PSG is special. You are part of a team that can win a European competition, that is not something many players can say.”

Meunier then spoke of the English club that was keen to sign him last summer.

“I could have signed with Everton, which is a good club,” Meunier said. “I would have played a lot, that’s for sure, and I would have enjoyed myself too. But Everton doesn’t play in European competition.”

Everton currently sits in 13th position in the Premier League table and would need a miracle to qualify for Europe next season. If European football is what Meunier is looking for, it appears he made the right decision to stay in Paris and play for a new contract.

So far, Meunier has featured quite often for Thomas Tuchel due to a lack of options at the right-back position. Colin Dagba recently signed a new contract per the club’s official website, but he’s been injured since September 16 (Transfermarkt). With no natural right-back available, Meunier has had to step in. So far this season, he’s made nine total appearances and scored a goal against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

This January, we should learn more about what the club intends to do with Meunier. PSG fans desperately want new full-backs during the next transfer window and if a clear-cut starter at right-back is brought in, that could seal Meunier’s fate at the club. The Belgian international will have from now until the end of 2019 to prove himself to Tuchel, sporting director Leonardo, and club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

“If I extend with PSG, I will have the best contract of my career because I negotiated with PSG as if I was free,” Meunier said.

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Tags Champions League Club Brugge Everton Leonardo Nasser Al-Khelaifi Real Madrid Thomas Meunier Thomas Tuchel transfers