It’s set to be all change at Paris Saint-Germain this summer, and if one particular player is allowed to depart the Parc des Princes, then Man United or Chelsea could be the beneficiaries.
Lionel Messi appears almost certain to leave Ligue Un when his contract runs out at the end of this season, and the club are desperate to rid themselves of his former FC Barcelona colleague, Neymar.
Although it’s far from a foregone conclusion, at least one other of the pair’s current team-mates could also be on the way out.
‘With Neymar, PSG have been open to letting him go for more than a year,’ senior journalist, Jonathan Johnson, wrote in his exclusive CaughtOffside Substack.
‘[…] In terms of Hakimi, let’s not forget that despite the fact he had a fantastic World Cup, it’s been extremely problematic for him off the pitch in recent months. The rape allegations have become a touchy subject around PSG and my feeling, because he hasn’t been at his absolute best since arriving at PSG even though there have been moments, don’t get me wrong, is if the right offer came in PSG would at least consider it.
‘The other thing that they have to take into account is that Hakimi is extremely close to Kylian Mbappe so whilst Mbappe stays, which will be the case for next season, I find it difficult to see Hakimi going or at least I would say there are other names that PSG would be more likely to move on.
‘Verratti for example, who the club seem to have tired of in terms of his unprofessional approach to his game.’
It’s often overlooked at just how much things away from football can affect players, who are human beings after all.
Just because they earn much more than the average person on the street, it doesn’t negate the fact that dealing with serious issues will take up lots of mental energy which is bound to affect performance levels and ability to deal with situations.
Were PSG to let Hakimi move, Football Insider noted that both Chelsea and Man United were interested and Johnson also believes a Premier League switch, rather than a move back to La Liga, would be possible.
‘If I had to pick a potential destination, I’d say England is more likely considering PSG would demand quite a high fee bearing in mind what they paid for Hakimi,’ he continued.
‘La Liga seems difficult in terms of the limitations with the salary cap, that kind of thing, but then again if he was to go back to Real Madrid at some point, I guess that could potentially change the situation.
‘The chances of PSG and Real Madrid doing business, given how things were relating to the Kylian Mbappe situation a year ago, however, means I find it doubtful that PSG would come to the table to negotiate that deal.‘
At just 24 years of age, Hakimi is still some way short of his supposed peak years as a player, and to that end he could represent a sound investment for any club.
Once the French giants give the word, a battle is for his services is likely to commence.
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