Lyon, Paris, Lille and Marseille are engaged in a frenzied title race in Ligue 1. And the winter transfer window could redistribute the cards.
“We have two of the four best players in the world,” boasted Leonardo, sports director of Paris Saint-Germain, in February 2020. A little less than a year later, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are not enough for PSG, 3rd in the League 1 to the winter break, to maintain its hegemony. And above all, the backlash of this double transfer to 400 million euros is felt. In mid-December, The team reported finances in the red for the reigning triple French champion. PSG is forced to balance its accounts like everyone else, and the economic crisis does not help. Result: Julian Draxler, six months from the end of his contract, is more than ever pushed towards the exit. The German midfielder (27) has juggled injuries to only play 9 matches this season. His rating has been down since his failed departure for Hertha Berlin last year, but for Paris, it’s now or never to sell him.
There is no rush for Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes (26), more useful than Draxler in 2020 and appreciated by the Parisian locker room. Except that, for him, several clubs would be ready to break the piggy bank. The Gazzetta dello Sport Antonio Conte, coach of Inter Milan, has long been in love with Paredes. PSG would not be sold their player for less than € 20m, while Inter would like to exchange him for Christian Eriksen, who has become undesirable among the Nerazzurri. All these operations risk being conditioned on the arrival of a man: Mauricio Pochettino, designated successor of Thomas Tuchel in Paris. It is not new that the capital club have a crush on Dele Alli, but with the entry of the former Tottenham coach, who got the best of Alli to Spurs, the English press believes we cannot may more plausible the idea of a loan from the English attacking midfielder.
Dele Alli’s top 5 goals for Tottenham
Memphis and Thauvin, will go, will not go?
Leonardo is not expected to rest in January, and neither is Juninho. The boss of the sportsman in Lyon must decide in the Memphis Depay case, passed very close to a transfer to FC Barcelona last summer. According to the Catalan media, Barça is reviewing its priorities, namely to strengthen its defense, and simply would not have the money for two recruits this winter. Beyond the economic dimension, are OL ready to say goodbye to their captain in the middle of a season of which they are the leader of Ligue 1? Without the European Cup for the first time in more than 20 years, Olympique Lyonnais has a golden opportunity to play for the title. The wake-up call to Islam Slimani, reported by Foot Mercato, would go in this direction. The Algerian striker rendered Monaco a great service last season. However, it does not suit André Villas-Boas and the Olympique de Marseille, recently informed The team.
“All players are waiting to see the reality of the market.”
Pablo Longoria, sports director of Olympique de Marseille.
The Marseille club has no shortage of “sites”, as the sports daily writes. Starting with Villas-Boas itself, whose contract ends next June. Pablo Longoria, Marseille sports director, is negotiating his extension. But refuses to hurry, as with Florian Thauvin. “All players are waiting to see the reality of the market,” he said in the columns of Provence about the French winger (27 years old). Thauvin himself commented on AC Milan’s flattery towards him. The Spanish press evokes an offensive by Sevilla FC, and the Corriere dello Sport says Naples also makes her eyes soft. As for Memphis in Lyon or Draxler in Paris, OM has one last window in January to sell Thauvin, while a contract extension seems less and less credible. The left side Jordan Amavi is to be stored in the same bag: the delay in his file by the former Marseille management (Longoria arrived in July 2020) weighs heavily. Valère Germain and Yuto Nagatomo, to name a few, are also at the end of their contract. And in the arrivals department, Marseille “is working on different tracks for number 9”, explained Longoria in early December at the channel’s microphone. Telefoot. But so it shouldn’t be Slimani.
Thauvin’s superb goal against Bordeaux on October 17 (3-1)
Finally, Lille, runner-up to Lyon in the Ligue 1 standings, is slowly recovering from its governance crisis. “Despite the lack of visibility on TV rights, LOSC has no obligation to sell,” guaranteed the new Lille president, Olivier Létang, before the truce. At the same time, coach Christophe Galtier had “no discussion” with Létang on the upcoming transfer window. Winter should be quieter in the North than for other large fish in France. But “we are still not immune to a heavy demand,” Galtier warned. Could this concern Jonathan Bamba, LOSC offensive star this season and courted by Sevilla FC? Or Sven Botman, defender valued by the Mastiffs at € 50 million according to Foot Mercato and for whom Liverpool and Inter Milan would be ready to fight? Ligue 1 is not at the end of its surprises at the dawn of a transfer window facing financial fog.