Recent rumours about the future of Lionel Messi have been causing a flurry of headlines. The Argentine superstar has been linked with a move to the MLS with David Beckham’s Inter Miami or even back to Barcelona.
The Kylian Mbappé drama continues to rumble on as well. Neymar always appears to be looking over his shoulder. So there is far from a settled scene over in Paris. But looking at the standing of football betting today, things are still expected to pan out into another successful season for Paris Saint-Germain.
They are favorites for all domestic titles and are one of the main contenders in UEFA Champions League odds. Maybe after the FIFA World Cup when his stars assemble after international duty, things will settle down in the dressing room for head coach Christophe Galtier.
But maybe not. There could be even more stress for him to deal with.
Getting Away From the Big 3
At some point, the power trio of PSG is going to get split up. It may be sooner rather than later. But what are the contingency plans? Kylian Mbappé isn’t happy about his playing role if rumors are to be believed. He’d rather operate as part of a front two than a front three.
If he pulls the power in the dressing room, maybe PSG would let Messi, Neymar (or both) slide aside. Let’s assume that Mbappé gets his way. That he sticks around at PSG and he gets to play up front alongside someone down the middle.
A change of formation by Galtier would be a massive shake-up. Messi or Neymar would get left out in the cold. It seems like a big reach but not out of the realm of probability that Mbappé would be looking for a new strike partner.
If rumors are to be believed, that’s one of the demands that he set out when he turned his back on Real Madrid in the summer of 2022. But who would likely be the man that PSG turns to, to form a partnership with Mbappé? Here are three of the potential players to fill the role.
Hugo Ekitike could well have been playing in the English Premier League this season. The youngster looked set for a move to Newcastle in the January transfer window. But the French youth international decided on a loan move to PSG from Reims instead.
Considering the wealth of attacking talent that PSG has at their disposal currently, it seemed like a strange option. Etikike has essentially been a bench warmer at the club since his move. It would take something extremely special to force his way into the side permanently at the moment.
But following his loan move to PSG (which included an option to buy), 20-year-old Ekitike is at least getting to know the club. Time is on his side and the center-forward is agile and quick and could be a perfect partner alongside Mbappé. He’d be a snap around €35 million.
The Nigerian striker has had a blistering first half of the Serie A season with Napoli. He has been a crucial part of the Partenopei being Europe’s form team of 2022/23 so far. But this has been coming from Osimhen.
He has hit double figures in his two previous full seasons in Italy and he knows his way around Ligue 1 too. Osimhen scored 13 goals in 27 league appearances for Lille in the 2019/20 season.
Osimhen is big and powerful and puts himself about in the opposition box. He could create a fantastic space for Mbappé to operate in. The Nigerian international would cost a pretty penny as he’s under contract with Napoli until 2025. But he could be a top transfer target and looks destined for one of Europe’s elite clubs.
The Manchester United and England striker looks to be coming back to his best this season. After a very difficult 2021/22 campaign, Rashford is full of running and confidence again. In late October he notched up his 100th goal for Manchester United.
He is lightning-quick and could well be a smart piece of business for PSG. Rashford is out of contract in the summer and that could spark PSG to push for him in the January transfer window.
Rashford is versatile, able to play a wider role in a front three, but also quick enough and strong enough to play right down the center.
A Blockbuster Summer Ahead?
PSG posted a big loss of more than €350 million in 2022, largely down to the astonishing deal that they handed to Mbappé to keep him. That could naturally have repercussions down the line.
Will they be able to offer Lionel Messi more to keep the Little Genius around? Does it mean that the club will be happy to sacrifice Neymar and Messi for the good of keeping Mbappé? Who are their top transfer targets going to be?
2023 may well be a blockbuster in Paris. We can be sure that the transfer rumors in January and the summer surrounding Messi, Mbappé, and Neymar, are going to be whipping up a major storm. If you are interested in placing bets on PSG or other football bets, you can find a bookmaker with the best odds and offers for that on Match. Center.