KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Julian Draxler captained Germany to victory in the Confederations Cup in June and Angel Di Maria once scored the Olympic gold-medal winner for Argentina . . . but Paris Saint-Germain are ready t sacrifice one or the other or both to land Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.
PSG, having already this month ladled out €222m on Neymar, expect to support him with Europe’s most admired teenager for their assault on the Champions League.
World, European and Spanish champions Real Madrid had high hopes of buying Mbappe and enticing Monaco to influence him with the prospect of staying home on loan for at least one more season.
But Monaco’s new-season prospects have been diminished by Premier League raiders such as Manchester City and Chelsea and PSG offer Mbappe the best of both worlds.
By completing a transfer worth up to €180m in one form or another he can stay in France for five years at €18m-a-year. He can also expect to play a starring role in what PSG supremo Nasser Al-Khalaifi envisages as a triumphant, Madrid-toppling Champions League campaign.
Spanish coach Unai Emery, still smarting from last season’s Champions League debacle at the hands of Barcelona and Neymar, would be expected to play Mbappe on the right of attack with Edison Cavani in the centre and the Brazilian in his favoured role on the left.
Emery, a serial winner in the Europa League with Sevilla, would also be expected to win the Champions League.
He is understood to be ready to accept the departure of Draxler and/or Di Maria following the sales of €20m midfielder Blaise Matuidi to Juventus and €16m striker Jean-Kevin Augustin to RB Leipzig.
Draxler is the most expendable now that Neymar will be taking over his favoured role on the left. Di Maria is being linked, his Real Madrid history notwithstanding, with a move to Barcelona should the Catalans concede defeat over Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.
Barcelona have spent a larhe chunk of the Neymar fee on Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele. The fee for the 20-year-old French forward is being reported at €140m which would make him the world’s second-most expensive player.
The Catalan club also expect to sign Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri. The Ivorien is valued at €40m by the Riviera club whose hopes of keeping him vanished with their dismissal this week from the Champions League qualifiers by Napoli.