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Report: PSG told to sell millions worth of players by end of June

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According to multiple reports, UEFA has informed Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain that the club must raise a significant amount of money through player transfer sales by the end of June, or else they will face the wrath of Financial Fair Play sanctions.

The amount of money in the ultimatum has varied between reports, with both French publication L’Equipe and The Financial Times reporting the club is required to raise $70 million, while Loic Tanzi of RMC in France is reporting that number to be $47 million.

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UEFA released a statement on Wednesday to declare its investigation into PSG “closed” but also said, “The financial impact of transfer activities as from the 2017 summer – up to and including the upcoming transfer window – and compliance with the break-even requirement for the 2018 financial year will remain under close scrutiny and will be thoroughly looked at in the coming weeks.”

Financial Fair Play requires all clubs to balance income with expenditures and attempts to keep clubs from expending extraordinary – and therefore theoretically unfair – amounts of money on player transfers. PSG spent a massive $260 million on the purchase of Brazilian superstar Neymar last summer, a transfer that was muddied by the involvement of the Qatari royalty. They also have an obligation to complete the permanent transfer of Kylian Mbappe after this past campaign’s season-long loan, which could potentially cost the club up to a reported $210 million.

UEFA punishments for an FFP breach could include a fine, salary restrictions, squad restrictions, or worst of all a ban from European play. PSG has qualified for next season’s Champions League group stage via their first-place finish in the Ligue 1 table. They could still be handed down a punishment should they fail to comply with the reported ultimatum.

Players who could be sold include aging and expensive attackers Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, and Javier Pastore, as well as midfielder Adrian Rabiot after his heated public response to being assigned reserve status for the French World Cup squad.

Neymar appears in good shape after Brazil training week

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TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) Neymar has finished his first full week of training with Brazil in apparent good shape ahead of the upcoming World Cup after foot surgery.

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The striker continued his recovery Saturday in Brazil’s last training session on home soil before setting camp in London on Monday.

Brazilian football confederation footage shows Neymar passing and dribbling at high speed in training that was closed to the media.

The Brazilian has been recovering from right foot surgery in March.

Brazil players will be off duty until Sunday morning. They travel to London hours later.

Transfer rumors: Willian, Alderweireld to Manchester United

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The transfer rumor mill is picking up steam this Monday, including some persistent whispers regarding two Premier League players with possible futures at Old Trafford.

Both of these make a lot of sense.

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A day after Nemanja Matic stressed the need for experienced players at United, two good fits hit the rumor mill (again).

Matic’s old Chelsea pal Willian has interest from United if he seeks a way out of London — which seems likely — where he’s said to be ready to go if Antonio Conte remains as manager.

Then there’s Toby Alderweireld, whose been very strong at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur but reportedly fallen out with current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

During a rut, the Tottenham manager claimed that Alderweireld was held out of Spurs’ lineup due to the form of the players in front of him.

Also from Sky, we’ll leave this quote from PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi on the idea of possibly selling Kylian Mbappe.

Al-Khelaifi told Canal+: “You want me to give you a number? More than €1bn! Yes, I said one billion! And even if you gave me a billion, I wouldn’t sell him.”

Messi: It would be ‘terrible’ to see Neymar at Real Madrid

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Barcelona star Lionel Messi says it would be “terrible” to see his friend and former teammate Neymar signing for Real Madrid.

Messi told TyC Sports on Tuesday that “it would be terrible, for all that Ney means to Barcelona.”

[ MORE: How did U.S. players fare in PL? ]

He added that “it is OK that he went the way he did, he won an important title here, he won the Champions League, won the Spanish league. But to end in Real Madrid would be a hard blow for us and for Barcelona fans.”

Neymar, who is recovering from a foot surgery after an injury in February, left Barcelona last summer after Paris Saint-Germain paid a record transfer fee of 222 million euros. But he has been linked with a move to Madrid this summer after just one year in France.

PSG appoint Thomas Tuchel as new manager

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Thomas Tuchel is the new manager of Paris Saint-Germain.

The German coach was announced as PSG’s new boss on Monday, with Unai Emery to step aside as their boss despite leading them to the Ligue 1, French Cup and French League Cup treble in his second season in charge

PSG said the following in a statement on their website.

“Paris Saint-Germain is pleased to announce the arrival of Thomas Tuchel as coach. The German technician signed a two-year contract with the champions of France.”

The former Borussia Dortmund coach, who was linked with a move to Arsenal over the past 12 months, hasn’t been in a job since he left Dortmund at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

Tuchel left Dortmund in acrimonious fashion but the fact that he’s been linked with jobs in the Premier League, as well as at Bayern Munich and elsewhere in Europe, prove his pedigree.

“It is with great joy, pride and ambition that I join this great world football club that is Paris Saint-Germain,” Tuchel said. “I look forward to working with all these great players, all of whom are among the best on the planet. With my staff, we will do everything to help the team push their limits to the highest of international level. There is extraordinary potential in Paris and this is the most exciting challenge that has come to me. I am also looking forward to discovering Parc des Princes, a legendary European football stadium with a fantastic atmosphere.”

The biggest challenge for Tuchel, 44, will be delivering success in the UEFA Champions League, something which evaded Emery as PSG crashed out in devastating fashion to Barcelona in 2016/17 and then again at the hands of Real Madrid this season.

With a strike force of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, PSG can rip apart the majority of UCL teams but they came unstuck in the knockout rounds this season against Real Madrid as they also lost Neymar with a serious ankle injury during that series.

Although Neymar’s future at PSG remains uncertain despite only completing his world-record move from Barca last summer, the future now looks steadier for PSG.

Tuchel is a talented tactician who led Dortmund to back-to-back top three finishes, a German Cup success and a trip to the UCL last eight during his two seasons in charge at the Westfalenstadion. He also developed the likes of Christian Pulisic into full-time pros, while he seemed to get the best out of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a fluid, attacking system.

Defense is where PSG needs to improve if they’re ever going to get past the last eight of the UCL and the jury is out as to whether Tuchel can deliver the European success Les Parisiens crave.