PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi wanted to leave the French champion during the recent summer transfer window, but says his “wish wasn’t granted” because the club blocked the move.
Matuidi was heavily linked with a move to Italian champion Juventus as a replacement for midfielder Paul Pogba, who was sold to Manchester United.
“There was a concrete offer,” Matuidi said Sunday on French football show Telefoot. “I did want to leave. The club decided otherwise and I had to accept it.”
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Matuidi has played more than 200 games for PSG, helping it win four league titles and two consecutive domestic trebles. He has been one of the club’s key players in recent seasons under former coach Laurent Blanc, who was fired before the new season to make way for Spanish coach Unai Emery.
Key players have left PSG this summer, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining United and versatile defender David Luiz re-joining Chelsea, the club that sold him to PSG in 2014. But Matuidi was kept on.
“It’s true that it was quite a tricky time, because I had a wish and that wish wasn’t granted,” he said.
Under Emery, who joined after helping Sevilla secure a third straight Europa League title, Matuidi has been used as a substitute in the first three league games.
However, despite losing his place in the starting lineup, he believes Emery played a key role in keeping him at PSG.
“I know that he has great belief in me,” said Matuidi, who joined PSG five years ago. “We have spoken an awful lot together, and I think he played a very big part in the wish of the club.”
Matuidi, who has played 52 times for France, has two years left on his PSG contract.