'PSG should prioritise Tchouameni over Pogba', says former winger Rothen

By Sports Desk March 28, 2022

Paris Saint-Germain should prioritise signing Aurelien Tchouameni over France team-mate Paul Pogba in the close season, according to former winger Jerome Rothen.

Tchouameni has broken into Didier Deschamps’ squad this season following a string of impressive displays in the heart of the Monaco midfield.

The 22-year-old made his debut for Les Bleus against Bosnia and Herzegovina last September – helping them win the Nations League two months later – before netting the winner in Friday's victory over Ivory Coast. 

PSG are one of several clubs reportedly linked with a move for Tchouameni, while Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba can leave Old Trafford on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Former France international Rothen spent two-and-a-half years with Monaco – helping them reach the Champions League final in 2004 – before making 180 appearances during a six-year stint at PSG.

While the 43-year-old sees no reason why PSG cannot target both Pogba and Tchouameni, he believes the latter should take priority. 

"One can go with the other," he said. "This does not mean that if PSG signs Tchouameni, we should no longer talk about Pogba. 

"Paul Pogba is free, Paris can do both. 

"Nevertheless, the priority on these two profiles – even if it costs more money – in order to build a collective is Aurelien Tchouameni and players like him."

Despite fierce competition for places in the heart of midfield, Rothen can see Tchouameni establishing himself as a key figure for Les Bleus.

"He could not always be a starter because there is a big competition in the French team, but he can have more and more playing time," he added.

"And he has each time shown this strength that he has with the ball, this personality in a different role than the one in which he plays in Monaco.

"I think he's well above average from a technical point of view, from a physical point of view and from a vision of the game."

Related items

  • Trincao returns to Barcelona as Wolves opt against triggering option Trincao returns to Barcelona as Wolves opt against triggering option

    Francisco Trincao has returned to Barcelona after Wolves opted against triggering their purchase option.

    The 22-year-old winger joined Wolves on loan last July, reportedly paying £5.1million (€5.9m) to borrow him for the season.

    As part of the deal, Wolves secured an option to buy the Portugal international for £25million (€29m) at the end of the loan, but that rarely looked a realistic outcome.

    Trincao featured 28 times for Wolves in the Premier League, though only 16 of those appearances were as a starter, and he had a hand in just four goals.

    Despite Wolves letting Trincao return to Barcelona, they will – according to a report published on Sunday by the West Midlands-based Express and Star – receive 20 per cent of his next transfer fee.

    He heads back to Barca with his future at Camp Nou unclear, as the club are keen to offload deadwood amid something of a financial crisis.

    Barca reportedly spent €31million in January 2020 to bring Trincao to the club from Sporting Braga, but his impact has been largely minimal.

  • Rennes coach Genesio would welcome reunion with 'high-level' Barcelona star Umtiti Rennes coach Genesio would welcome reunion with 'high-level' Barcelona star Umtiti

    Rennes coach Bruno Genesio has not played down reports suggesting a move for Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti, adding the star is a "high-level player".

    The Ligue 1 outfit have been linked for a move for the France international, who endured a torrid 2021-22 campaign at Camp Nou rocked by injury.

    A Europa League qualifying finish for Rennes has left Genesio seeking "sports guarantees" in regard to his transfer aims, and the World Cup winner - whom he previously coached at Lyon - would fit the bill.

    "Sam is a player I know perfectly well," he stated. "I trained him as a youth player and then in the Lyon first team. That creates a bond.

    "You all know his history, his qualities [and] the setbacks he had last year. But he is still a high-level player, and we are interested in high-level players," 

    Genesio touched on his desire to reinforce Rennes' squad too, adding that he needs an influx of fresh talent to replicate their 2021-22 feats.

    "I want to have sports guarantees," he stated. "We just had a very good season. To continue, we need a quality group.

    "I needed to have a lot of answers in the backbone of the team that we were going to be able to maintain and what we were able to do in terms of reinforcements."

  • Gasperini reveals U-turn on Atalanta departure Gasperini reveals U-turn on Atalanta departure

    Gian Piero Gasperini has revealed he was ready to leave Atalanta at the end of last season, but decided to remain in Bergamo due to his respect for the club's owners and love for the fans.

    Gasperini took charge of Atalanta in 2016, with the club having posted five consecutive bottom-half Serie A finishes.

    The former Inter boss immediately oversaw a dramatic transformation in the club's fortunes, implementing a relentless attacking style while securing fourth place in his first season at the helm, before leading them to three consecutive third-place finishes between 2018-19 and 2020-21.

    Atalanta scored a staggering 188 league goals across the latter two of those campaigns, also reaching the Champions League knockout stages in both seasons.

    But their momentum stalled last season as they finished eighth in Serie A, leading to speculation 64-year-old Gasperini could depart.

    Gasperini said he was unsure of his future in May, but has now confirmed his desire to remain in Bergamo and build a new "young and strong" team.

    "With [Atalanta president Antonio] Percassi there is a relationship of esteem and gratitude. I told him, 'maybe I'm the one who has to go away', but he absolutely didn't want it," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "Now the momentum to start again is with us. If I am still here, it is because of the strong bond with the city. 

    "I perceived the demand of the people strongly and this conditioned me, because I was really ready to leave, if the club had wanted me to. 

    "Atalanta will be young and strong. I stayed for the people. There is a desire for revenge. 

    "We are not big, we are working to become big. In the meantime, we will fight, we will have fun."

    Gasperini's men were hampered by the unavailability of strike duo Duvan Zapata and Josip Ilicic for long periods last season, as the two forwards hit just 13 league goals between them and managed only 1,732 and 836 minutes of Serie A football respectively. 

    And he believes the club's failure to invest heavily in the transfer market after benefiting from Champions League revenue exacerbated their issues. 

    "New energies would have helped us," he added.  "We have had some important sales, substantial revenues from the Champions League, but we have remained very static, especially up front. 

    "In the last two years, with the resources available, it was the right time to introduce a new champion like [now-Sevilla attacker Alejandro] Gomez and Ilicic. Other profiles have arrived.

    "What I asked for was not done and we found ourselves on the edge."

    Gasperini's seventh Serie A season with Atalanta will begin with a trip to Sampdoria on August 13, before they host champions Milan eight days later.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.