Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) could be tempted to add more quality to their squad at the turn of the year. The French champions are leading the race for the Ligue 1 title and also have their sights on the UEFA Champions League.
Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk has hailed Lionel Messi as one of the greatest ever. Elsewhere, Spanish journalist Tomas Roncero has lambasted Kylian Mbappe for turning down Real Madrid this summer.
On that note, here's a look at the key PSG transfer stories as on December 6, 2022:
Lionel Messi labelled one of the greatest ever by Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk has labelled Lionel Messi as one of the greatest players of all time. The Liverpool defender will face the 35-year-old when Argentina lock heads with the Netherlands in the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Friday (December 9). The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has been in inspired run for club and country this season.
Messi arrived at the World Cup in imperious form for PSG. The Argentinean has scored 12 goals and set up 14 more in 19 games across competitions for the Parisians. He has also been indispensable for La Albiceleste in Qatar, registering three goals and an assist in four games.
Speaking recently, as cited by PSG Talk, Van Dijk said that it's an honour to play against Messi.
“He is one of the best players of all time. It is an honour to play against him. But it is not me against him, or the Netherlands against him, but the Netherlands against Argentina, and they have many more players who are world-class,” said Van Dijk.
The 35-year-old is in the final year of his contract with PSG but has not made a decision on his future yet.
Kylian Mbappe slammed for snubbing Real Madrid
The French forward was heavily linked with Los Blancos this summer but opted to extend his stay with the Parisians. Recent reports, though, have hinted that the 23-year-old is not entirely happy at the Parc des Princes.
Speaking to El Chiringuito, as relayed by Le10 Sport, Roncero cited the example of Alfredo Di Stefano to surmise that Mbappe is not indispensable.
“In 1964, Alfredo Di Stefano, who was the greatest, had just played in the final of the European Cup and won the championship. Suddenly he attacked the club, and Santiago Bernabeu told him that he had to leave. And two years later, Madrid again won the European Cup,” said Roncero.
The Spanish journalist said that Mbappe’s blockbuster contract with PSG could be his golden prison.
“Mbappe never played for Real Madrid, and Madrid without him won 14 European cups. After his betrayal, Madrid won the fourteenth at Saint-Denis. Moreover, he laughed while PSG ultras insulted Real Madrid. As a Madridista, I'm not going to forgive him, thanks to Real Madrid he negotiated a huge contract, which he remains in his golden prison. Madrid will remain the greatest without him,” said Roncero.
Mbappe has scored five goals in four games at the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar so far. He will next be in action on Sunday (December 10) as Les Bleus take on England for a place in the last four.
Dante heaps praise on PSG's Neymar
Dante has spoken highly of Neymar in a recent interview. The PSG forward is currently with the Brazil team in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Neymar picked up a knock in the opening game of the tournament but returned to action in the Round of 16, where he scored from the spot in Brazil's 4-1 Round of 16 win over South Korea yesterday (December 5). He remains pivotal to the Selecao’s quest for a record-extending sixth World Cup title.
Speaking to Ligue 1, Dante said that Neymar has transformed into a team player this season.
‘He's someone who has goals in mind and who manages the pressure of events well. I'm not surprised because six months from the World Cup, he said to himself that he had to put in a lot of effort and have a lighter head and fewer injuries,” said Dante.
“Since the start of the season, we've seen that he's no longer focusing solely on himself but more on his team. You can tell he's happy, and that's why he was in such great shape. When he's happy, he has no problems.”
Neymar has appeared 20 times for the Parisians this season across competitions, scoring 15 goals and registering 12 assists.