Reports: Paris St-Germain begin talks to sign Barcelona veteran
- Jeremy Mathieu is on the verge of leaving Barcelona this summer
What’s the story?
Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu is on his way out of the club after his agent began talks with Paris St-Germain about a move to Ligue 1. According to multiple reports in French news outlets Le Parisien and France Football, the 33-year-old is viewed as an experienced and cut-price option for Unai Emery’s side, who are looking for defensive reinforcements. However, Mathieu is considering other offers from Fenerbahce and Marseille as well.
As manager of Valencia, Ernest Valverde was crucial in Mathieu’s rise to fame after converting him from a left-back into a central defender. The Frenchman subsequently moved to Barcelona for a €20 million fee, but has been considered a disappointment overall, with multiple error-strewn performances earning the ire of the Camp Nou crowd. His performance in the 3-0 loss to Juventus in particular, drew much criticism, with Steven Gerrard saying “Mathieu got took off at half-time. He had an absolute nightmare first 45 minutes, we’re wondering how he’s wearing the Barcelona shirt. He’s miles off it.”
The heart of the matter
The game against Juventus remains Mathieu’s last performance in a Blaugrana shirt, after which he did not feature under Luis Enrique despite being fit. The Frenchman had some hope after Valverde was announced as Barcelona boss, but the Spaniard made it clear to the defender that he was not part of his plans.
With one year left to go on his contract, Mathieu could leave for a cut-price fee and PSG are willing to snap him up. The Ligue 1 side’s new sporting director, Antero Henrique, who replaced Patrick Kluivert a week earlier, believes Mathieu could reignite his career with a move back to the left-back role, and provide experienced back up in other positions as well.
However, there could be awkward meetings on hand for Mathieu, who was critical of the PSG players following Barca’s overturning of a 4-0 loss with a 6-1 win in the UEFA Champions League, accusing the French side of ‘lacking humility’.
Jeremy Mathieu might seem an odd choice for a club like PSG, given the deep financial reserves they possess. However, the Ligue 1 side are in need of some squad reinforcement, as injuries saw them fall away in the league, with Unai Emery’s first season ending in a disappointing second=placed finish to AS Monaco. Barcelona would be only to glad to get rid of the Frenchman, who has never looked settled in his three-year spell at the club.Published 10 Jun 2017, 20:07 IST