With the transfer window in full swing, ESPN FC's Paris Saint-Germain blogger Jonathan Johnson discusses how the French side is shaping up ahead of the new season.
IN -- David Luiz (Chelsea, 50 million pounds)
OUT -- Jeremy Menez (AC Milan, free), Alex (AC Milan, free), Kingsley Coman (Juventus, free), Kalifa Traore (Angers, free)
SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW ASSESSMENTS
PREMIER LEAGUE: Arsenal | Aston Villa | Burnley | Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Hull City | Leicester City | Liverpool | Man City | Man Utd | Newcastle | QPR | Southampton | Stoke | Sunderland | Swansea | Tottenham | West Brom | West Ham
Money is not a problem for Paris Saint-Germain. However, the club has been hit with UEFA's financial fair play sanctions, so Les Parisiens' actual transfer budget is unknown. The French champions need to sell in order to buy, and this, as you can imagine, is causing more than a few problems in Paris. The FFP punishments are aimed at preventing PSG from spending freely, and so far it seems as though the Ligue 1 giant has got the message. Aside from the signing of Chelsea's David Luiz, PSG have been relatively well behaved on the transfer market and stuck to the rules.
Rate your business so far: Five out of 10. With Luiz the only name to have arrived at Parc des Princes, it is difficult to award PSG anything higher at present. Laurent Blanc and the club's hierarchy recognised the need for reinforcement in central defence, but the 50 million pound fee spent on the Brazilian appears excessive to say the least.
Although Alex was aging and cumbersome, the difference in ability between him and Luiz is not enough to justify PSG splashing such a lavish sum on the current Brazil international. To make matters worse, the 27-year-old finished the World Cup with a farcical showing for the host nation. Standing in as captain for new teammate Thiago Silva, Luiz watched his side fall apart in front of eventual winner Germany in a crushing 7-1 defeat that will rank as one of the -- if not the -- worst moments in the player's career.
With PSG's hands now tied in the transfer market because of their rash reaction to FFP, the move for Luiz could end up making the French champions look extremely foolish indeed.
Who should be sold?
Considering that PSG have made the majority of their squad unsellable, the only real options worth any significant amounts of money are Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore. However, neither player would be able to recoup the money invested in him by the club because they have generally underperformed since arriving in the capital.
Of the pair, Lavezzi is more likely to fetch a decent price thanks to his fantastic 2014 form. However, the 29-year-old is earning a handsome salary at PSG and not many clubs will be able to afford his services. Pastore's value has decreased at such an alarming rate that selling him at this moment -- when his stock is arguably the lowest it has ever been -- would make little sense for Les Parisiens.
Who should be signed?
PSG have been linked with a number of summer transfer targets, but the club's two main objectives appear to be Real Madrid's Angel di Maria and Toulouse's Serge Aurier. Real Sociedad's Antoine Griezmann and CA Penarol's 18-year-old prodigy Kevin Mendez have also been touted as possible signings.
FFP looks to have scuppered the French champions' hopes of snaring Di Maria -- possibly Griezmann as well -- meaning that Aurier is now the priority. A new right-back is a must, particularly with Christophe Jallet on the verge of a move to Olympique Lyonnais and Gregory van der Wiel's recent injury problems. If PSG can bring in Ivorian World Cup star Aurier, they should feel quite happy with his signing.
Problem solving: What do you need?
Right-back is the only real weak area in this squad. As mentioned, former captain Jallet is expected to join the list of those departing, while Van der Wiel's struggles to overcome a knee injury that has plagued him since March makes further depth imperative. Aurier impressed in Brazil and has the potential to go on to become one of the best in the world in his position. Even if money was no object this summer, many of PSG's fans would have been urging them to invest domestically to recruit the 21-year-old.