Speaking in an exclusive interview with Get French Football News, Head of Football at RMC Sport Mohamed Bouhafsi discussed what to expect from PSG in this summer transfer window.
First of all, I would love the French supporters to be like Spanish supporters because Spanish media can say on a Monday that X is signing, only to say on Tuesday that a different name is signing. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone in Spain, but in France we would be chastised for that. The only thing I can say from my point of view, I don’t think that Neymar is necessarily happy in Paris. He is upset with the last few months, injured, upset about PSG’s Champions’ League last season, upset about the treatment that he receives during matches. But I also think that Neymar knows that he is on a very big contract, he is one of the best paid players in the world, he is injured right now, he has considerable off-the-field matters to attend to.
So, it is a very difficult situation. PSG tell us that he is not for sale, unless there is an enormous offer worth €350m for the Brazilian. Then the question to ask is can Barcelona make a bid worth €300m, €350m, €400m? Especially when they are set to sign Antoine Griezmann. I think there is a lot of noise about something that for the moment I don’t believe is financially viable. Maybe it could be, someone needs to explain to me how, Barça maybe find some spectacular solution, but I don’t see it right now. My view is that for the moment the situation is blocked, I don’t know maybe things could evolve in 1 hour, 2 hours, 5 days, 6 days etc. But I don’t think that things have advanced like the Spanish media are claiming. And the situation is much more complicated than people think.
On Thomas Meunier:
I think that the situation is also difficult for him. He is well-regarded in England, he is the viewfinder of Manchester United, who like him a lot. The only solution is that he either absolutely has to leave this summer, or sign a contract extension. I think, and this is not information that I have but instead my point of view, I think that PSG should extend him, because he is a very professional player, and who has shown on the pitch that he is very good and that he deserves to be part of the PSG set-up. Aside from that, his relationship with Thomas Tuchel is going to have to be clarified. If PSG want to sell him, they will sell him very well, all the English clubs are interested in him, he has a very impressive value on the market.
On Leonardo’s arrival:
I don’t think that Leonardo will be uniquely concentrated on the Italian market. Leonardo knows that the English market is very difficult, that players are very expensive to buy from there. Players in England have a crazy price, when you think of someone like (Harry) Maguire of Leicester, I am not talking about for PSG, but in general, that is a crazy market price. Players in England already have a very hefty price, then in Spain, players at the top of the game, outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona, there aren’t so many.
Then there are very interesting markets in Italy and Germany. Leonardo is not just going to focus on the Italian market, he is going to focus on good opportunities, and it is true that in Italy there are several of those, as the clubs are a little less rich than the top 3 in Spain or the clubs in England. So it is a more favourable situation to do good deals. It is also a market that he knows well. A player like Milinkovic-Savic is worth right now €50m, €60m, whereas in England he would be worth €80m, €100m. It is a potentially interesting situation for PSG, but he will focus on all markets.
On Thomas Tuchel’s future:
Thomas Tuchel cannot do worse in terms of his relationship with a Sporting Director than was the case with Antero Henrique. So it can’t be worse. What is certain is that Leonardo is someone very political, diplomatic, a charmer. Someone who is very competent, I can’t see him not getting on with Tuchel. Leonardo has had discussions with Tuchel, the two men have started to work together, there will have to be a working relationship of trust built. Tuchel didn’t want to work with Antero Henrique, Henrique is now gone, now it is up to Tuchel to work with the aims of PSG and of the club, and he will have to do that with Leonardo. Leonardo will do everything he can to give him the players he wants and needs and then it will be up to Tuchel to find the right recipe with this team.
Part 1 here.
On Nicolas Pépé here.
On William Saliba here.
On Nabil Fékir here.