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Jan 1, 2013

PSG not planning further signings

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi has reiterated plans to keep a tight hold on the club's purse strings during the winter transfer window, but he has not completely ruled out new signings.

Nasser Al Khelaifi presents new signing Lucas Moura in Doha
Nasser Al Khelaifi presents new signing Lucas Moura in Doha

PSG's Qatari owners have ploughed some €250 million into the squad since taking over the club in summer 2011, giving coach Carlo Ancelotti the players to mount both a domestic and European challenge.

Their latest addition, 20-year-old Lucas Moura, was unveiled on New Year's Day, but Al Khelaifi insisted that, for all the speculation to the contrary, the Brazil international will likely be the sole enhancement to the squad in January.

"We have a great team, great players," he told the press at PSG's winter training camp in Doha on Tuesday. “I don't think it's necessary [to recruit]. Having said that, there is a whole month ahead of us.

“For the moment, there are no plans to bring anyone in, but I don't know. There could be injuries, anything could happen. For the moment, though, there's nothing."

Al Khelaifi's comments echo those of PSG sporting director Leonardo, who said on Monday: "We have to see if players leave, and then we'll look at the situation. If things stay as they are, we won't touch anything, and Lucas will be our sole recruit. If players leave and there are opportunities, we'll see."

Lucas, meanwhile, is hoping to prolong the club’s love affair with Brazilian players after finally completing his switch to the French capital.

Players such as Rai and Leonardo played key roles in PSG's success of the 1990s, including - for the former - a contribution to the club's last Ligue 1 title in 1993-94, while Ronaldinho's first European stop en route to superstardom was the Parc des Princes.

Like Rai, Lucas has now followed the path from Sao Paulo to Paris, and hopes to prove just as successful almost two decades later.

"PSG has a long history of Brazilian players,” he told the press in Doha. “I hope to continue writing it, and put a smile on the fans' faces. Everyone expects a lot of me, but I'm very confident."

He added: "Choosing PSG is a great challenge. Leonardo helped me a lot in making the decision."

Though the transfer, worth an initial €40 million with up to €5 million in bonuses, was agreed in the summer, he only put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year deal on Tuesday after being allowed to finish the season with Sao Paulo.

He bade a tearful farewell to his maiden club following their controversial Copa Sudamericana final victory in early December, and shed yet more tears upon leaving his native country when he departed for Doha last weekend, but he is determined to make a success of his first foray into European football.

"I'm happy to know Carlo Ancelotti counts on me,” he added. “I'm not putting myself under pressure. I'm going to try and do my best and give everything for the team. I tried to stay focused on Sao Paulo in the last few months. Now, I'm going to be able to think of PSG, which is a big club. I'm here to help my new team."

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