Potential Midfield Replacements For PSG’s Marco Verratti

There was an unexpected development on the transfer front for Paris Saint-Germain this week with the news that Al-Hilal might yet land one of the French champions’ top names. Kylian Mbappé has been the subject of a potential world record offer from the Saudi Pro League giants, but the France international captain has so far snubbed the opportunity to discuss terms. However, an Al-Hilal delegation made the most of being in Paris to complete the signing of Malcom from Zenit Saint Petersburg to launch an offensive for PSG midfielder Marco Verratti.

Now 30, the Italy international has come in for criticism from parts of the Parisien fanbase in recent months owing to frustrations over his continued bad habits away from the pitch. With Al-Hilal’s opening offer for Verratti around €30 million, this is an opportunity for Luis Campos to cash in on an aging high earner to give himself the flexibility to reconstruct the midfield. Despite the Azzurri star’s presence, PSG still have not been able to get it right in the middle of the park since the days of Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi, and Verratti.

We look at how completely moving on from that famed trio could look in terms of replacements with known target Seko Fofana already an Al-Nassr player after leaving RC Lens this summer.

Read the full article at PSG Talk Extra Time on Substack.

Douglas Luiz

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Although this one should be considered a wildcard option, the Brazil international has seen his stock rise over the past 18 months. Now a key player under former PSG boss Unai Emery at Villa Park, Douglas Luiz has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal in the past. A senior Brazil international too, the 25-year-old has illustrated a skill set that puts him not too far from the elite—witness his assist for Moussa Diaby’s first goal in Claret and Blue. With Youri Tielemans now on board for Villa, there is technically already an alternative to Luiz in place for the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers.

Bruno Guimarães

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Arguably a tougher player to target than Luiz given his big-money move from Olympique Lyonnais to Newcastle United in January of 2022, this other Brazilian could still be a player of interest given his pre-existing experience in Ligue 1. Complicating matters further in any potential pursuit of Guimarães is the fact that the Magpies have qualified for the UEFA Champions League this season which further raises his potential price tag. The 25-year-old could occupy a deep-lying role in the midfield with a technical profile not entirely dissimilar to Verratti’s, but it will be tricky to lure him away from St James’ Park this summer.

Manu Koné

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Back leading into the summer, PSG were reportedly looking at Borussia Monchengladbach’s French midfield gem. Koné is yet to move away from the German outfit, and Liverpool’s early interest looks to have died down. The 22-year-old could be of interest to the Ligue 1 champions should Verratti move on in exchange for a substantial fee as part of a continued midfield rebuild which has already seen Manuel Ugarte arrive from Sporting CP.

Khéphren Thuram

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Another name that was on PSG’s list months ago was that of the OGC Nice midfielder, who could now come back into play if Verratti goes. Liverpool looked interested for a while before landing other targets, and Thuram seems to be resigned to staying at Allianz Riviera for now. The 22-year-old France international could be a fairly reasonable pickup given Les Aiglons’ lack of UEFA competition for the coming season.

Youssouf Fofana

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Staying in Ligue 1 and turning our attention towards Monaco, the 24-year-old France international could be a profile of interest. Certainly not like for like, but still a midfielder of talent and potential, Fofana could again become interesting given a lack of UEFA competition and, therefore, an inability to reject offers of a particular value. Given Luis Campos’ knowledge of ASM’s inner workings, he could position PSG well to pick up the Paris-born talent.

Read the full article at PSG Talk Extra Time on Substack.

Tags Bruno Guimaraes Douglas Luiz Khephren Thuram Manu Kone Marco Verratti PSG Mercato Youssouf Fofana
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