The rejection by the Professional Football League (LFP) of Moroccan Hakim Ziyech’s contract leaves PSG empty-handed at the end of the winter transfer window, a fiasco as the crucial deadline for the Champions League looms.
While the team has been marking time on the pitch since the start of 2023 and the clash against Bayern is fast approaching in the round of 16 of C1 (outward journey on February 14 at the Parc des Princes, return on February 8 March), the Parisian decision-makers failed to take advantage of the winter window of the transfer market to regenerate a workforce that sticks out its tongue.
The record is eloquent in this respect: no arrivals were recorded against three departures (Pablo Sarabia, Keylor Navas, Ayman Kari). The failure of the Ziyech case perfectly illustrates the misfortunes of PSG in its quest for reinforcements.
In search of an offensive player to compensate for the transfer of Sarabia to Wolverhampton, Paris had set, without success, its sights on the Lyonnais Rayan Cherki then on the Brazilian Malcom (Zenith St Petersburg) before falling back in extremis on the Moroccan Ziyech (29), in trouble at Chelsea.
All the conditions seemed to be met for the loan of the fresh semi-finalist of the World Cup-2022. The player had made the trip to Paris on Tuesday and had even passed his medical examination, according to an internal source. But an improbable imbroglio came to derail the operation.
– Skriniar, another disappointment –
According to two sources with knowledge of the file, Chelsea made several errors in sending PSG the administrative documents necessary for the registration of the contract … And the closing time of the transfer window in France was missed.
The L1 clubs were indeed required to send the contracts at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday evening to the LFP services, which gave them an extra hour to register these changes in the software governing international transfers (Fifa TMS).
The Parisian club nevertheless tried to plead its case by filing an appeal with the LFP on Wednesday, but the body’s legal committee rejected it.
To this disappointment in the Ziyech file, was added the impossibility for Paris to conclude this winter the transfer of the Slovak defender Milan Skriniar, however erected as a priority for several months by the football adviser Luis Campos.
The Inter Milan player, at the end of his contract in June, has already reached an agreement with Paris but he will have to wait until next summer before donning the PSG jersey, the nerazzurri leaders having been very greedy in negotiations with PSG, whose financial capacities are limited by the constraints of financial fair play and its huge losses for the 2021-2022 season (nearly 370 million euros).
– Pressure –
It is therefore without reinforcement in defense, a sector where the Ramos-Marquinhos hinge does not stop worrying while awaiting the return of injuries from Presnel Kimpembe and Nordi Mukiele, and without alternative in attack behind the untouchable Messi trio -Mbappé-Neymar that Paris will rub shoulders with Bayern Munich.
If PSG missed its winter transfer window, the Bavarians, weakened by a cascade of injuries (Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernandez, Sadio Mané, Noussair Mazraoui), have strengthened themselves well with Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer and the two defenders Joao Cancelo and Daley Blind.
The pressure will therefore be enormous in the coming weeks on Luis Campos, who did not score points with the Qatari owners during this sequence, and coach Christophe Galtier, who arrived in his luggage last summer.
The Parisian technician had however tried to play down Tuesday at a press conference a possible flop during the transfer market.
“If there is no arrival, well there is no arrival, he had declared. This workforce has worked and worked very well for months. There is no reason that it doesn’t come back, from the moment we all have the same objective: that the team comes before individualities.”