The transfer of the century looks like it’s the real deal as Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain seemingly nears its conclusion, but Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and co. may be rightly thinking about how this could benefit them.
PSG already have an embarrassment of riches on their books at the Parc des Princes, but no one can field more than eleven players at once and £198million is a lot of money even to a club with PSG’s financial backing, so is a player exodus now an inevitability towards the rest of this summer?
While the Neymar deal trumps anything PSG – or anyone else in history for that matter – has done so far, the Ligue 1 giants have signed a number of the world’s biggest names since their takeover in 2011, and they won’t be happy with more time on the bench.
It cannot yet be known what the fall out from the Neymar signing will be, but here are five players likely to be linked with Premier League clubs in the coming weeks as this summer’s crazy transfer window takes yet another big twist…
Only signed by PSG in January, Julian Draxler has proven a hit in the French capital after losing his way somewhat in his native Germany with Wolfsburg.
Now back to his best, the Germany international is bound to spark renewed interest from the Premier League’s top sides as Neymar threatens his place in Unai Emery’s front three.
With Arsenal struggling to get a deal done for Thomas Lemar, and Riyad Mahrez looking increasingly like heading to Roma, would now be an ideal time to come back in for Draxler after missing out on him all those years ago?
Liverpool may also want to keep an eye on the 23-year-old’s situation, as he could make an ideal replacement for Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho.
Another attacking player likely to be bumped down the pecking order by Neymar’s arrival, Lucas Moura could be in vogue again in England after various links with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool down the years.
Lucas Moura PSG snap shot
Despite being slow to get going at the Parc des Princes, the Brazilian has now shown his potential at the top level with some eye-catching performances in the last couple of seasons and would surely be an upgrade out wide for a number of the Premier League title-chasers this season.
United continue to be linked with Ivan Perisic as they eye additions out wide, but Lucas could quite feasibly cost a similar fee and prove better value due to being four years younger, while Liverpool could again look at him as an ideal Coutinho replacement.
Not as much of a regular for PSG in the last two seasons, it seems likely that Javier Pastore could be a candidate for the exit door this summer, and top clubs would do well to pounce if he does become available.
Chelsea have been most recently linked with the Argentine playmaker, who has operated in a variety of attacking midfield roles for PSG in his six seasons with the club.
Although not exactly short in the attacking midfield department at the moment, the Blues could do with renewing their interest in a proven, experienced performer at the top level as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his squad for the club’s return to the Champions League this season.
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Linked on numerous occasions with Manchester United, City and Chelsea in recent years, Blaise Matuidi could finally be on his way out this summer if recent reports are to be believed.
PSG aren’t exactly stretched in midfield, so will likely see the Frenchman as expendable if they do decide to cash in on squad players to make up for the considerable expense of the Neymar deal.
Matuidi is being most strongly linked with Juventus at the moment, but Arsenal in particular could do with a player of his quality in midfield after recent links with Jean Michael Seri.
Liverpool are also chasing a similar style of box-to-box player with what looks like a failed pursuit of Naby Keita, so would do well to consider Matuidi as a cheaper alternative.
Some reports suggest Serge Aurier is already close to a move to Manchester United, with PSG boss Emery confirming earlier in the summer that the Ivorian defender wanted out of the club.
PSG could pocket around £27m from Aurier’s sale, which looks like peanuts in today’s market, but combined with other departures would not be insignificant for the Ligue 1 giants after splashing out so much on Neymar.
Chelsea might also want to take note of his situation as Conte reportedly continues to chase additions at wing-back, with the versatile 24-year-old capable of playing on either side of defence in a back four or five, whilst also providing cover at centre-back, where the Blues have lost John Terry, Nathan Ake, Nathaniel Chalobah and Kurt Zouma this summer.