Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) travel to the Suita City Stadium on Monday to face Gamba Osaka. Christophe Galtier’s men have won all their three pre-season games so far.
On that note, here's a look at the key PSG transfer stories as on July 24, 2022:
Joan Laporta hints at Lionel Messi return to Camp Nou
Joan Laporta has hinted that a return to Barcelona could be on the cards for Lionel Messi. The Argentinean joined PSG last summer but looked out of place in his first season in France. Rumours of an exit continue to do the rounds, with the 35-year-old now in the final year of his contract with the Parisians.
Speaking to ESPN, as relayed by 90 Min, Laporta said that he owes Messi a return to Barcelona.
"Messi has been everything; for Barça he has possibly been the best player in history, the most efficient, only comparable to Johan Cruyff in the history of Barça. But it had to happen one day; we had to make a decision as a consequence of the legacy (financial trouble) we had received (from predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu)," said Laporta.
"The institution is above players and coaches, but I think; I wish, that the Messi chapter is not over yet at Barca. and I think our responsibility is to ensure that this open chapter, which has not yet been closed, has a good moment in which it can be done as it should have been done, and, in addition, has a much more splendid ending than it had.”
"As the president of Barca, I think I did what I had to do. But on a personal level and also as president, I think I owe him."
PSG not interested in Antoine Griezmann
Atletico Madrid have put the Frenchman up for sale this summer as they turn their attention to Cristiano Ronaldo. The Parisians were offered the chance to sign the 31-year-old but opted not to pursue the player.
Interestingly, Griezmann has another year in his loan spell from Barcelona, but the Rojiblancos don't seem too keen to keep him as they eye a move for Roanldo.
New Pariians sporting director Luis Campos is overseeing a squad revamp this summer.
With Neymar’s future up in the air, the Ligue 1 champions had the chance to replace the Brazilian with Griezmann. However, it now appears Campos turned down the proposal, as he doesn’t want to add another player over 30 with exorbitant wages to the squad.
The French giants are already attempting to trim their wage bill this summer and do not have space on their roster for the 31-year-old Griezmann.
Chelsea could turn to Presnel Kimpembe if they miss out on Jules Kounde
Chelsea could turn to Presnel Kimpembe if they fail to complete a move for Jules Kounde this summer, according to The Express. The Blues are hot on the heels of the Sevilla man but face competition from Barcelona, who are attempting to hijack the move. Blues manager Thomas Tuchel is a long-term admirer of the French defender and wants him at Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Blues have offered £55 million for Kounde, but Sevilla wish to see if the Blaugrana match or exceed that amount. Tuchel has identified Kimpembe as a backup option should Barcelona wrestle Kounde away from his clutches.
The PSG defender was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge earlier this summer, but a move has so far failed to materialise. The 26-year-old’s future is up in the air, and he could be open to a reunion with his former manager in London.