With Lionel Messi nothing but out of Paris Saint-Germain's plans next season, it's time for PSG to start working on their next squad, one that will most probably play better than the one from this season after Messi leaves the club and enables it to properly build a winning team.
On its Thursday edition, L'Equipe discussed the impact getting rid of Messi will have on PSG, and it certainly is a promising one that should see the reigning champs improve their results going forward.
Without Messi, PSG's management "will have more options in the upcoming transfer window," starts the newspaper. However, it warns, they are "taking their time in finding a new coach to avoid making any mistakes," instead of taking the approach they followed last summer when they rushed the hiring of the unproven Christophe Galtier only to find themselves in their current, precarious position.
Meanwhile, L'Equipe reports that PSG's sports advisor Luis Campos is busy planning the rebuild of Paris Saint-Germain around "players who can work together as a cohesive unit, rather than just a collection of individuals." This, obviously, is related to not counting on superstars and divas such as Lionel Messi and potentially Neymar, both of whom are more outside than inside Paris' project.
The departure of Messi will allow PSG "to have more financial freedom" and to accomplish everything the organization desires in the upcoming transfer window and beyond. However, PSG reportedly "remain committed to financial stability for the club," by keeping in mind they have to stay within the Financial Fair Play boundaries imposed by the higher levels.
PSG has already secured the signing of Milan Skriniar, who will become a free agent next July. Moving forward, Campos will look for players who meet three specific criteria: "youth, with French nationality, and team-oriented."
Two French prospects are already being considered, but their identities have not been revealed at the time of this writing. L'Equipe revealed, though, that the idea around PSG's officies (starting with Campos) is "to continue to use the 3-5-2 formation as their primary tactic," with a "flat 4-4-2 formation as an alternative."
According to L'Equipe, PSG are targeting several positions, including a central defender, an athletic midfielder, an attacking midfielder playing on the right side, and a deep striker. However, these wishes will be supplemented by market opportunities, and any player recruitment will be aimed at "providing depth" to the squad of PSG next season, something it clearly lacked this year.
Some of those targeted players are mentioned by the newspaper in its printed edition, including Aymeric Laporte, Lucas Hernandez, Evan Ndicka, and Fikayo Tomori (center-backs), Manu Kone, Khephren Thuram, Youssouf Fofana, and Ibrahim Sangare (midfielders), Moussa Diaby, Michael Olise, Rayan Cherki, and Bernardo Silva (wingers), and Victor Osimhen and Randal Kolo Muani (strikers).
PSG will also have to negotiate the exit of loaned players expected to return next July and manage the desires of certain players who may want to leave the club currently under contract (such as Hugo Ekitike).
No need to mention, PSG will also have to appoint a new manager on top of everything, and, preferably, before attempting/accomplishing any player signing.
Despite this uncertainty, PSG have "closed the door to the departure of their most important players," says L'Equipe, with "the exception of Neymar Jr," for whom the decision-makers are reportedly open to potential offers so they can get rid of both South American attention-grabbers, Messi and Ney, and focus on building around their true leader in Kylian Mbappe.