Paris Saint-Germain has been bounced out of the UEFA Champions League the past three seasons in the Round of 16. Against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, they have a chance to break that curse but they’ll have to overcome the 2-1 loss from the first leg of the tie.
Just looking at PSG’s recent history in the tournament, it’s very possible tonight will be the last Champions League fixture of the season. Everyone here at PSG Talk hopes that’s not the case but let’s be realistic. This team has given fans no reason to believe they can pull off the job at hand at the Parc des Princes tonight.
If PSG fails to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the impact could change the club forever. Here are just a few of the implications a loss could have:
Tuchel Will Be Sacked
This is probably the most obvious result a loss would have. Tuchel was not hired by Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, and two consecutive losses in the Round of 16 to inferior teams (on paper) would likely end his tenure in the French capital.
Neymar Will Demand a Transfer
Neymar Jr. was ready to leave Paris last summer after the Manchester United loss. He wasn’t on the pitch that night but the Brazilian is a player who wants to win the Ballon d’Or and he needs to be on a team that is seriously competing for the biggest trophy in club football.
For the first time, Neymar will be on the pitch for PSG in the second leg of a Champions League knockout stage game since his arrival in 2017, so hopefully, that will be the difference tonight. If not, I expect him to demand a transfer, perhaps even publically, with FC Barcelona the likely destination.
The good news, though, is that those close to Neymar have said that he would be open to signing an extension if PSG is successful in the Champions League. That doesn’t necessarily mean winning the title, but reaching the quarter-finals would certainly help.
A Complete Overhaul of the Squad
Here are some of the names that you won’t see in the PSG squad next season due to their contract or loan expiring: Edinson Cavani, Layvin Kurzawa, Thiago Silva, Thomas Meunier, Mauro Icardi, Sergio Rico, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Even youngsters Adil Aouchi and Tanguy Kouassi could sign for other clubs as they’ve yet to sign a professional contract with PSG.
We already talked about Neymar likely pushing for a transfer if PSG loses, but Julian Draxler and Leandro Paredes could both be on the move as well.
All of those departures would free up a lot of cash and allow Leonardo to reshape the team into his vision. Right now, the squad is a mixture of his signings and his predecessor, Antero Henrique.
I don’t think Kylian Mbappé will be moved this summer. He still has two years left on his contract and the club has made him the priority over Neymar. However, that won’t stop Real Madrid from trying to unsettle the Frenchman at PSG by leaking information to the Spanish press.
We also know how competitive Mbappé is and losing again in the Round of 16 with PSG, after reaching the semi-finals with AS Monaco in 2017, may lead to him asking for a transfer. It will be up to Leonardo to assure him that he can build a team capable of winning the Champions League but even that may not be enough.
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