The second Transfer Talk podcast of the January transfer window covers the biggest talking points in football, including Manchester United, Chelsea and, of course, deals between Europe’s biggest clubs.
Sky Sports‘ Pete Graves and Dharmesh Sheth were joined by ESPN’s French football journalist Julien Laurens, who addressed the latest news and rumors circulating in Ligue 1.
He discussed the potential for Marcus Rashford to make a move to Paris Saint Germain, the futures of World Cup stars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe and the likelihood of a Qatari Premier League takeover. Laurens also gives the latest on Aston Villa target Matteo Guendouzi.
Could an in-from Rashford join PSG?
“Yes, of course. We know that his brother was in Paris in August, talking to Luis Campos and Al-Khelaifi. We know that Kylian Mbappe is a very good friend of Marcus, they get on very well and Mbappe would certainly love to play with Marcus Rashford in Paris – there’s no doubt at all.
“Al-Khelaifi mentioned him again in Qatar at the World Cup, so there’s a lot of interest there, but not at any cost of course.
“The power is very much in Marcus Rashford’s camp because back in the summer, for example, after a very poor season, United could have said ‘listen, we really want to keep you and we know you want to stay but on the back of that season, this is what we can offer’, and offer something decent but maybe not amazing.
“Right now, Rashford says ‘I’m one of the best in Europe in my position with one year left on my contract, and that year, expiring soon after, I will have loads of clubs after me,’ and rightly so. So , United will have to make a really good offer.”
Will Lionel Messi stay in Paris?
“What I’m hearing is that there’s an agreement in principle between PSG and Lionel Messi to continue – he’s happy there, he wants to stay a bit longer instead of going back to Barcelona, which I’m told there were never any discussions between whoever is in charge of that club and the Messi camp.
“Inter Miami is a bit different because the owner of that club, not David Beckham but Jorge Mas, is very close to the Messi family for other things, so it would be different, but certainly in Paris from what the Messi camp are saying, it’s very much the same desire to keep working together.
“So we are expecting Messi’s Dad Jorge Messi to be in Paris soon towards the end of the month to sit down with Luis Campos and Nasser Al-Khelaifi to have the chat about the money, the length of contract, which we believe could be another two years, one plus one, and for a similar about of money.
“We’re thinking that probably the bonuses are going to be the things that are going to change from what he’s on now because of age and, if he stays, I think the bonuses could be a bit higher.
“Winning a Champions League would be worth more money in a year’s time from what it is now. But there’s certainly a lot of optimism in both camps that they will find that agreement and very soon, they can announce that he’ll be staying there a bit longer.”
Will a new song from the Paris fans be enough to stop an Mbappe Madrid move?
“So, it’s actually a two plus one contract (with PSG), so it’s urgent – they need to find something because he only really has 18 months left on his contract. Now, it will be a year in the summer.
“We know he wasn’t happy in November and he kicked off. PSG were happy for the World Cup to arrive when it did arrive because things have calmed down now, he was obviously very happy with the World Cup despite the final and the outcome of it, but he certainly has come back to Paris refreshed.
“The ultras at the Parc des Princes have a song for him, a new song that he is very happy with, so it feels like a better situation for him and the club right now, but that conversation has to happen at some point, and really, there’s only one club that he can leave PSG to go to and that’s Real Madrid.
“So they will have to open the door of course. Would they wait for him to run out of contract to get him free like almost happened last summer? Will they be ready to go this summer coming and having to pay something to PSG for the remaining year on his contract?That remains to be seen.
“Despite all the noise that we are hearing from the Bernabeu that they were not happy when he extended at PSG, they felt he had agreed to go to them and changed his mind, I think if you can sign Kylian Mbappe and you’re Real Madrid, you go for him There’s no way they could miss out on him again, so that will be fascinating to see.
“The thing we’re hearing now from the Mbappe camp is that he is happy, wants to focus on the football now there’s big games coming up – obviously the Bayern Munich tie in the Champions League – and then later on in the season, he will think about what he wants to do and what is going to happen.”
Could the Qataris buy Spurs or another Premier League club?
“It’s an interesting one. Remember before the pandemic, they were very close to buying Leeds United and in the end, for different reasons, it didn’t happen. But I think maybe away from fully buying a Premier League club, investing with a few shares into one of them is something that also appeals to them just for their portfolio really.
“We know that Nasser Al-Khelaifi met with Daniel Levy in Qatar during the World Cup to talk about whether Joel Lewis would be prepared to sell a few shares – would Daniel Levy be on board with that as well? Could that work? I think they were positive talks, whatever that goes to and leads to.
“That doesn’t mean that they would sell PSG, although they are ready to sell 10-15 per cent of the club to a foreign investor, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens there, but if you look at United and Liverpool, Spurs again, PSG and even some clubs in Italy like Inter Milan, there could be a lot of movement in terms of ownership, small investment into football clubs, shared ownership like we’ve seen at Chelsea. things could happen on the business side of football in Europe in the coming months.”
What might Guendouzi bring to Aston Villa?
“Unai Emery obviously had Guendouzi at Arsenal. They’re still very close. Marseille are looking to sell because they need to balance their books. They obviously just signed Ruslan Malinovskyi from Atalanta, and I think they could sell Matteo Guendouzi for a really good price. I’m being told around 30m euros could be the first offer from Aston Villa so that’s something to keep an eye on.”
“If you’re an Aston Villa fan, I don’t know if you’re keen for Matteo Guendouzi to come to you club, but I think he has certainly matured since the Arsenal days. He’s still very full of energy, an interesting midfielder that covers a lot of ground, but he’s got better will the ball since joining Marseille, so I think this could be a very smart signing from Unai Emery and Aston Villa.”
Who will be on the move in January?
The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center blog hon Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.