One of the first questions Nasser Al-Khelaïfi answered is over the future and what the capital club does to improve the squad. Over the past two years, PSG has reached the UEFA Champions League final and sem-final, so they want to build a team that can get the job done.
The club chief acknowledges that the previous two transfer windows have been relatively quiet, but now they’re ready to have a busy summer.
“These last two years, we have not invested much, among other things, because of the health crisis. But we made a final and a half. It shows that we are there. Now, we still have to improve in certain positions. We have targeted the; wee know what we want to do,” Al-Khelaïfi said. “This transfer window will be more active than the previous ones. We will be present; we have ambitions for this summer.”
In the last week, there’s been speculation concerning the future of Mauricio Pochettino as reports linked him to a possible return to Tottenham Hotspur; Al-Khelaïfi wanted to set the record straight on that topic.
“Look, at the end of the season, I had two meetings with Pochettino, two or three hours each time. He never told me he wanted to leave,” Al-Khelaïfi said.
“He never had an attitude that suggested he wanted to leave. It is quite the reverse. He was totally involved in the subjects […] He talks almost every day with Leonardo about the transfer window, the players, etc.”
The elephant in the room this summer for the French giants is the future of Kylian Mbappé, and Al-Khelaïfi made it known that he doesn’t see the 22-year-old departing Les Parisiens anytime soon.
“I will be clear: Kylian will stay in Paris, we will never sell him, and he will never leave free. Of course, I never give details in the media about ongoing negotiations. All I can say is that it is progressing well. I hope we will find common ground,” Al-Khelaïfi said.
“It’s Paris; it’s his country. He has a mission, not just to be a football player but to promote the French Championship, his country, and his capital.”
Finally, Al-Khelaïfi revealed some details regarding the contract extension that the capital club agreed to with Neymar Jr. to keep the 29-year-old for the remaining years of his prime.
“It was not complicated to find an agreement with Neymar (to extend). I remain convinced that he is one of the best players in the world. If it took so long, it is because of the health crisis which thwarted the discussions. However, I never had the slightest doubt that it would extend. Even if the club you mention tried to recruit Neymar to the end,” Al-Khelaïfi said.
“Obviously, we declined. I believe this club has some economic problems (Barca’s debt exceeds one billion euros), but that’s none of our business. Neymar believes in our project; he loves the club, the city, the supporters. He’s totally invested; he still wants to win a lot of trophies here. I’m proud of the relationship we built; he told me that he wanted to end his career at PSG.”
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