Exclusive: Randal Kolo Muani Transfer to Manchester United will not be inexpensive, Kylian Mbappe's future and more

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So, how will Paris Saint-Germain bounce back from their latest Champions League loss?

Not much can be said about what PSG's elimination from the Champions League means for the club's long-term future and strategy. I don't see a future for PSG with either Luis Campos or Christophe Galtier alone; they are, after all, sold as a pair. If we see one leave, the other will likely follow.

They also need to make room on their wage bill this summer after committing to free agent Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan, working on a contract extension with Marquinhos, and signing a new deal with Marco Verratti. Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe have both been sidelined for a significant amount of time due to injury, and there is no assurance that they will be healthy in time for next season. This casts doubt on their marketability this summer. Since Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, and Hugo Ekitike are all nearing the end of their contracts, and Hugo Ekitike's loan will become permanent if PSG qualifies for the Champions League (which is highly likely), PSG has little financial wiggle room and few players in this squad they can cash in on. Mbappe is the glaring outlier, but PSG will have no interest in trading him as long as he is under contract. He is the team's most reliable performer and the centerpiece of their plans for the future.

This summer, it appears that PSG will have to find value without spending a fortune. There will likely be some squad trimming with players returning from loans and the like, but no major roster changes are expected. I doubt anyone will pay a hefty transfer fee for Neymar while he's injured, and although Chelsea showed interest in Kimpembe last summer, he may not play again this calendar year, making a profit off of him all but impossible. I think PSG may look more competitive next season without the break for the World Cup in the middle of the season, but it'll be a tricky window for them. With the French national team job unlikely to open up for at least two years, the club could also consider Zinedine Zidane, who is still available. Of course, if he took over at PSG, he'd have a team that doesn't have everything they need to be as successful as his Real Madrid sides in the past, and PSG won't have the financial abilities to make the changes you'd imagine Zidane would need and want.

PSG should stick with Galtier and Campos for another season. They'll need to make some tough choices and use their wits in transfer negotiations. This summer's crop of free agents could represent excellent value, and PSG's acquisition of Milan Skriniar on the cheap suggests that they may end up taking advantage of that market.

Kylian Mbappe won't be leaving PSG any time soon.

The way I feel about Mbappe and PSG hasn't changed much over the past few years. The 2024 Olympics in Paris seem like the most likely exit point for him from PSG and France in general; winning a gold medal with his country would be a fitting way to bow out. This is also the last year of his contract with PSG, though he has the option to extend it for another year. If he's leaving, he'll probably say something by the end of the season, but I think he'll stick around for at least another year, giving PSG another shot at the Champions League.

Ligue 1's Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappé in action

Mbappe likely would not have liked PSG's early exit this season. It's been an odd few years for him at the club, what with the lows of failing to qualify for the Champions League and the highs of making it to the final in 2020 and the semi-finals the following season.

Mbappe, for his part, needs to have a little bit of insight into why PSG is in such a financial bind when it comes to signing new players. In large part, this is due to the massive financial effort made by PSG to renew his contract last year. While it's true that Mbappe stayed for the project and not the money, the fact remains that it's a significant financial commitment for PSG. With Financial Fair Play being revised, a statement like this can have repercussions, including a summer transfer window that did not go over well or prove to be a great success. While Neymar may have gone too far in his criticism when he compared Campos's transfer strategy to that of the Portuguese Second Division, many of the signings have fallen far short of expectations. Mbappe may have reason to be dissatisfied with the business PSG has conducted, and he and the club's upper management are likely to exert considerable pressure on Campos to make summer transfer window signings that are much more in line with what he did at Monaco and Lille.

Zidane is the most obvious choice if PSG were to change managers, and I do not doubt that Mbappe would be pleased by that because he is a legendary figure in French football. To be sure, I wouldn't put any stock in rumors that Mbappe is close to leaving PSG this summer.

READ MORE: Man United has joined a host of top European clubs in pursuit of a star player valued at €40 million.

It's no secret that Moussa Diaby is a fan favorite at both Arsenal and Newcastle.

Moussa Diaby, who left Paris Saint-Germain for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, is likely to be a highly sought-after player this summer. PSG has been linked with an interest in re-signing him, along with other clubs such as Arsenal and Newcastle. Bringing back players they released for cheap isn't good business, in my opinion, and I'm not the biggest fan of PSG doing that. It doesn't surprise me that teams like Arsenal and Newcastle are interested in him, though, because he is undeniably a better player now than he was when he left PSG. I think he's best suited to a more attacking role, but he's also done well as a wing-back, so he's more than just a fast winger.

At this juncture in his career, he needs to take the next step, and given his current experience, a project similar to Newcastle might be a good fit. Nonetheless, I believe that several clubs across Europe will be looking at him in the coming months, and a return to Ligue 1 has certainly been brought up in recent weeks.

In any case, I'm not sure PSG can afford to pay what Leverkusen would want for him given their current financial situation. I wouldn't be surprised if his asking price was around €50 million (about $70 million). The initial fee could be negotiated down, but the total cost of the deal is still expected to be in the neighborhood of €50 million. Unless the asking price is at least €30 million, I don't see Leverkusen selling him.

Benjamin Pavard is a player that clubs should think twice about signing.

Some of Benjamin Pavard's next few months look bleak. It appears that he has not extended his contract with Bayern, leaving him a potential free agent in 2024. Not only has he struggled on the field, but he has also been involved in a recent drunk driving incident, which is sure to annoy his Bayern Munich coaches and managers.

If Pavard decides he doesn't want to renew with Bayern this summer, I can see several top clubs being interested in signing him. I have my doubts about his status as an elite defender, but on his best days, he's a talented player and a versatile option who can play right-back or center-back. Recent events, such as his dismissal from the game against PSG and his expulsion from France's World Cup squad following a poor start, have cast doubt on his mentality and character.

There is a lot for big clubs to think about with Pavard, but Barcelona is looking for players who can be acquired without forking over massive transfer fees, so it's not too surprising that he's been linked to them. He will undoubtedly attract the attention of several top clubs who will consider him seriously.

Some questioned his abilities during the tournament, and since he won in 2018, his mental toughness may also be in question. The success he experienced at the World Cup may have lulled him into a false sense of security, leading him to believe that he would continue to start for France regardless of his recent form. However, this was not the case in Qatar. Perhaps it's time for Didier Deschamps to clarify whether or not Pavard has a place in his plans moving forward, and if so, why. Not only has there been friction on the national team, but there have also been several incidents involving the Bayern management in the past few months. I think it's pretty obvious that he's someone who needs to be handled with care, so I expect any clubs interested in signing him to do a great deal of research on him first.

Manchester United and Bayern Munich will pay a hefty sum for Kolo Muani.

Speculation has been rampant that highly intriguing player Randal Kolo Muani will soon join Manchester United. While it may seem like he's risen to prominence overnight, his quality was evident during his time in Ligue 1 with Nantes. After moving to Eintracht Frankfurt and experiencing European football, his reputation skyrocketed, and rumors surfaced that Bayern Munich was also interested in signing him.

Some clubs, such as Borussia Monchengladbach and Frankfurt, serve as excellent stepping stones for French players interested in playing in other countries. They can get the playing time they need to improve and compete at a higher level, while also attracting the attention of bigger clubs.

So, United and Bayern might try to sign him this summer, but they'll need to pay a fortune to do so. While the talk of fees in the region of €120m will make Nantes sick, given that he left them for nothing, I believe that the Bundesliga has become one of the more recognized pathways for French talents looking to take the next step, joining the likes of Moussa Diaby and Christopher Nkunku, who is set to join Chelsea this summer. I guess that in the future, other players will try to emulate Kolo Muani's success.

For Eintracht Frankfurt, Randal Kolo Muani has been a blazing star this year.

We'll see what happens with United and Bayern; after his season, it's not surprising to see clubs like those eyeing him. However, I think it's important to reiterate that a very large fee will be required to get this deal done.

To me, Rayan Cherki is a natural fit for PSG.

Keep an eye on Rayan Cherki, a young French talent who is both interesting and talented. A product of the illustrious Lyon talent assembly line, he is the newest up-and-comer to come out of Lyon. I doubt Lyon will be able to keep him or other star players for very long without European football, so at most you could argue for him to stay at Lyon for one more season to ensure he is a starter, but he might get that somewhere else, like PSG, who have been linked to him before.

If Lyon doesn't win the Coupe de France, he'll probably realize pretty quickly that he can't cut it there. Cherki's continued absence from European football makes his continued presence here difficult to justify. He should play professionally in Europe because of the important role it would play in his growth.

There don't seem to be any concrete ties to Premier League clubs at the moment, but he'd be a versatile attacker who can play on the wing or up top if needed; I see him as more of a creative spark plug. If he joined a team that used a more mobile front three, I could see him contributing. Exactly the type of player PSG have been looking for, and while I wouldn't go as far as to call him Neymar-esque, he does appear to be someone who could give them a lot in a central attacking role.

Sophia Ela

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