There is uncertainty at Paris Saint-Germain due to fears over further financial fair play sanctions, leading to speculation of numerous players being sold or offloaded.

L'Equipe claimed earlier this week that PSG had put on hold contract negotiations with Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi.

Messi is contracted with PSG until the end of this season, although he reportedly had come to a verbal agreement with the club in December.

Back in September, the Ligue 1 leaders were hit with a €10million fine for FFP violations after the 2020-21 season with a further €45m suspended for any future infringements.

TOP STORY – MESSI'S OFFER TO ECLIPSE RONALDO'S RECORD

Marca reports Lionel Messi is set to receive a world-record €220million (£193m) per year offer from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club.

Messi's contemporary rival Cristiano Ronaldo joined Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in January in a deal worth €200m, the highest football salary in history.

The Mirror claims the unnamed club is Al Hilal. The Argentinian has constantly been linked with the MLS too.

ROUND-UP

–  Barcelona head coach Xavi has been in touch with Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan about a move, with his contract running out at the end of this season, claims AS.

– Calciomercato claims Marco Verratti is weighing up a move away from Paris Saint-Germain following recent criticism. Verratti penned a contract extension until 2026 recently.

Manchester United are pondering tabling a £105m offer for Eintracht Frankfurt forward Randal Kolo Muani, per Sport Bild.

– Mundo Deportivo claims Manchester United are interested in Barcelona's Franck Kessie as a midfield partner for Casemiro, while Tottenham and Chelsea are also circling for him.

Arsenal are interested in Real Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard who may be available for a cut price with his current deal due to expire in 2024, reports Fichajes.

Paul Pogba is eager to remain at Juventus despite battling injuries throughout this season, claims 90min.

Mohamed Salah is contracted with Liverpool until 2025 having penned an extension in July.

Salah's new deal is reportedly worth around £350,000 per week.

However, the 30-year-old has only managed 11 Premier League goals this term, with Liverpool's hopes of mounting a title charge long gone, and their place in next season's Champions League is far from secure.

There is now speculation that one of Europe's elite is looking to poach Salah ahead of next season.

 

TOP STORY – SALAH STRONGLY WEIGHING UP LIVERPOOL EXIT

Fichajes reports Mohamed Salah is strongly considering departing Liverpool, with Paris Saint-Germain circling.

The Egypt forward extended his Anfield stay last year but the situation has changed amid an underwhelming season.

Liverpool might be in need of a revamp next season, with Roberto Firmino already confirmed to be on his way out, following Sadio Mane's exit last year.

Jurgen Klopp will surely want to keep Salah, but if PSG offer huge money, it could provide the German with the cash needed to rebuild, with Borussia Dortmund's sought-after midfielder Jude Bellingham widely reported to be Liverpool's priority target.

ROUND-UP

–  Tottenham do not want to sell talisman Harry Kane even if he does not commit to a new deal, with his contract due to expire in 2024, according to Sky Sports. Kane has been linked with Manchester United and Bayern Munich, while he wanted to join Manchester City in 2021.

City, meanwhile, have agreed on a new five-and-a-half-year contract for Argentina forward Julian Alvarez amid interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to Fabrizio Romano.

City have also asked Napoli about Victor Osimhen's availability, reports Florian Plettenberg. The Nigerian forward has interest from PSG, Chelsea and Manchester United too.

– Football Insider claims Chelsea have made Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong their primary focus for the next transfer window.

Juventus may move for PSG pair Juan Bernat and Renato Sanches with Juan Cuadrado and Adrien Rabiot set to exit, reports Calciomercato.

– The Times reports former Spain head coach Luis Enrique would be interested in becoming Tottenham boss should Antonio Conte depart.

The only thing to be sure about with the Champions League, is that nothing's for sure.

That is at least what Liverpool fans will be telling themselves as Jurgen Klopp's men prepare to try to overturn a three-goal first-leg deficit against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Carlo Ancelotti continued his habit of terrorising Liverpool as his team staged a comeback of their own, recovering from 2-0 down at Anfield to run out 5-2 winners.

The LaLiga giants also defeated the Reds in last season's Champions League final, and so the hunger for revenge should be strong, but to come back against a team as strong as Madrid seems fanciful... or so it would seem.

Perhaps the most famous comeback in the competition's history is Liverpool breaking Ancelotti's heart in the final in Istanbul in 2005 as they turned around a three-goal margin in six second-half minutes before beating Milan on penalties, and Stats Perform has taken a look at some of the most notable second-leg Champions League comebacks of all-time to see if there is any cause for optimism for Klopp's team.

Deportivo La Coruna v Milan – Quarter-finals, 2003-04

Speaking of Ancelotti's Milan, they had a strange relationship with the Champions League over a three-year period between the 2002-03 season and that famous night in Istanbul 18 years ago.

The Rossoneri won the 2003 final against Juventus on penalties after an astonishingly dull 120 minutes at Old Trafford, before their agonising defeat to Liverpool at the same stage two years later.

What happened in between might have been the most bizarre of the lot, though.

In the last eight of the 2003-04 season, Milan eased to a 4-1 win against Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna in the first leg at San Siro.

It would turn out to be a strange season for the competition overall, with upsets all over the place, but none as remarkable as Deportivo's turnaround in the second leg at the Riazor Stadium.

Three goals in the first half from Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque put them ahead on away goals, before substitute Gonzalo Fran sealed a sensational 4-0 win in the second half to take the tie 5-4 on aggregate.

Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain – Last 16, 2016-17

The biggest and arguably most famous comeback in Champions League history, Barcelona looked dead and buried after a 4-0 trouncing at the hands of PSG at the Parc des Princes in the first leg.

Goals from Angel Di Maria (two), Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani looked to have put the tie to bed before the second leg at Camp Nou had even begun.

Luis Suarez scored just three minutes in to provide hope, while a Layvin Kurzawa own goal just before half-time was followed by a penalty from Lionel Messi just after as the impossible suddenly looked possible.

Cavani scored what seemed to be a crucial away goal for PSG just after the hour though as hopes began to fade for the Catalans.

In the closing stages, head coach Luis Enrique raised eyebrows when he turned to Sergi Roberto from the bench, hardly known for his goalscoring exploits at a time when they needed three in a short period.

Neymar made it 4-1 on the night in the 88th minute with what most assumed was just a consolation, before Barca were given a penalty soon after, which the Brazilian also dispatched.

With seconds remaining deep into stoppage time, Neymar lofted a ball into the box to find Sergi Roberto, who applied the finish and sealed an unbelievable 6-5 aggregate win.

 

Roma v Barcelona – Quarter-final, 2017-18

Of course, what goes around, comes around and Barca were on the wrong end of a dramatic turnaround just a year later.

Their 4-1 home win in the first leg had them full of confidence heading to the Italian capital for the second.

As with Barca's comeback against PSG, the return encounter started with an early goal, with Edin Dzeko finding the net just six minutes in at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Blaugrana held out until half-time without further damage, but Daniele De Rossi scored a penalty to bring Roma to within one goal of going through on away goals.

With eight minutes remaining, Kostas Manolas headed in a corner at the near post to send the home fans into absolute delirium and improbably take the Serie A side through.

It was a chastening experience for Barca, but surely it was just a one-off...

Liverpool v Barcelona – Semi-final, 2018-19

After a 3-0 win against the Premier League challengers at home, Barca had put themselves in a strong position again, but this time with the caution that was necessary after their humbling by Roma.

Yet again, an early goal gave hope to the optimists as Divock Origi bundled in the opener for Liverpool in the seventh minute, but yet again, Barca held out until the break, knowing Liverpool still needed two just to take it to extra-time.

Those two arrived in very quick succession as half-time substitute Giorginio Wijnaldum made it 2-0 in the 54th minute with a sweeping finish before heading in a third less than two minutes later.

All the momentum was with Liverpool, and with an almost inevitable amount of farce, a quickly-taken corner by Trent Alexander-Arnold caught the visitors napping as Origi slammed in a fourth.

Two seasons in a row, Barca had thrown away three-goal leads from the first leg, amounting for half of the four occasions it has happened in the competition's history.

 

Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain – Last 16, 2018-19

While this was not a comeback from a three-goal deficit, it is the only example of a tie in which the team that has played the second leg away from home has won despite losing the first leg by more than one goal.

PSG outclassed United at Old Trafford, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe, while Paul Pogba was sent off late on for the hosts.

The dominant nature of the win more than anything else is why few gave United a hope of turning things around in Paris, but once more, an early goal changed the mood as Romelu Lukaku scored in the Parc des Princes with less than two minutes played.

Juan Bernat equalised soon after, but Lukaku restored United's lead on the half-hour mark.

PSG tried to put their English opponents away but in stoppage time, conceded a penalty for handball against Kimpembe, allowing Marcus Rashford to fire home to give the Red Devils a place in the history books.

So where does this leave Liverpool's chances of overcoming a three-goal deficit in Madrid?

Well, Los Blancos have only lost at home by a three-goal margin twice in the Champions League, both in the 2018-19 campaign, going down 3-0 to CSKA Moscow in the group stage and 4-1 against Ajax in the last-16 second leg.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have won an away game in the Champions League by three or more goals on 10 occasions, eight of which have come under Klopp, while they only very recently beat Manchester United 7-0 in the Premier League, albeit that was at Anfield and was swiftly followed by a limp 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday.

You could argue that if it were any other team than Madrid, who seem to have a spell over the famous tournament, you would give Liverpool a chance of doing it such is their own record of dramatic appearances in the Champions League.

It seems like an impossible task, but you could also argue that if ever there were an opponent who could do such a thing to Madrid, it may be the Reds, especially given their past with Ancelotti.

It would certainly raise an eyebrow.

Lionel Messi could throw in the towel on his career in Europe and play out his days in MLS – but it would be a people-pleasing move if he returns to Barcelona next season.

That is the verdict of Gerard Pique, Messi's long-time former Barcelona team-mate who is as interested as anyone in the Argentina great's next step.

Messi is approaching the end of his two-year contract at Paris Saint-Germain, having joined the French club when Barca were mired in a financial crisis and could not keep him on.

He will turn 36 in June, and his performances at the World Cup for Argentina, along with a number of fine club showings, have suggested he could keep going at a high level.

MLS club Inter Miami have also been big admirers of Messi and are seemingly ready with an offer to take him to the United States.

"Only Leo knows his future," Pique told Spanish broadcaster RAC 1. "He won the World Cup, which was the great dream he had and the title he had left to win. He has won it and now no one can doubt he is the best in history.

"What he decides will be about where he can find happiness and if he wants to continue competing at the highest level."

 

Defender Pique retired in November, having begun his first-team career at Barca in 2008 and become a lynchpin of the team.

Messi was often the match-winner, helping the likes of Pique to become serial trophy gatherers.

"If he continues to be motivated, the most normal thing is for him to stay in Europe, and here Barca can enter into his plans," Pique said.

"If he raises his arms and says he's had enough, maybe he'll go to MLS. If he came back [to Barcelona], it would be an incredible thing for all the fans."

It is a rare occasion that a team can win a game by three goals and still feel like they have been given the runaround by an opponent.

That is what happened last season at the Etihad Stadium, though, as Manchester City ran out 6-3 victors against RB Leipzig in the Champions League group stage, conceding a hat-trick to a player who was undergoing one of the most explosive rises in recent years.

Christopher Nkunku became one of two players to score a hat-trick against City in Europe's premier club competition, the other being Lionel Messi in October 2016.

Presumably to City's relief, Nkunku looks set to miss a return visit in their Champions League last-16 second leg after suffering a minor thigh strain in the recent loss at Borussia Dortmund, and Leipzig would therefore be without one of the most impressive players in Europe.

Nkunku came through the youth set-up at Paris Saint-Germain, spending four seasons there after his first-team debut in the 2015-16 campaign, making 78 appearances in all for his hometown club.

 

He wanted more responsibility, though, often getting lost among the superstars of the Parc des Princes, such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and sealed a move worth a reported €13million to RB Leipzig in July 2019.

Nkunku was not an immediate success in Germany either, but he played 60 league games over his first two seasons at Red Bull Arena, and his development became obvious by the third.

In his final season in Paris in 2018-19, he had six goal involvements (four goals, two assists) in 29 appearances (17 starts). Last season for Leipzig, he recorded 51 goal involvements (35 goals, 16 assists) in 52 appearances (48 starts).

This drastic increase is likely down to extra game-time, responsibility and also the sort of general improvements you would expect of a player in three years at that age.

 

It also appeared Nkunku was simply getting into better scoring positions, though.

In his last year in Ligue 1, he largely played on the right for PSG, with 48 per cent of his touches across the entire pitch on average coming on the right-side of the opposition's half.

However, just four per cent of his touches came inside the opposition penalty area, which increased to 14 per cent this season in the Bundesliga.

 

From 2018-19 to 2021-22, Nkunku also increased his output in terms of total shots per 90 (from 1.8 to 2.7), chance conversion (21.1 per cent to 35.1 per cent) and, most drastically, shooting accuracy (42.1 per cent to 70.8 per cent).

That explosion led to some concerns he could have been a one-season wonder, but Nkunku has another 17 goals and three assists in 27 games (22 starts) this season, having missed a chunk of it with a knee injury sustained just before the World Cup, where he had been tipped to shine for eventual runners-up France in Qatar.

He has scored 10 goals across his last 12 starts in the Champions League and has attracted interest from several of Europe's top clubs, with reports suggesting a big-money move to Chelsea is all but done for the end of the season.

Nkunku won the Bundesliga's player of the season award in 2021-22, despite being joint-fourth top scorer in the league alongside Anthony Modeste (20), behind Robert Lewandowski (35), Patrick Schick (24) and Erling Haaland (22).

It was his creativity as well as his goals that won him plaudits, though, with only Thomas Muller (18) claiming more assists in the league than his 13.

Prior to Nkunku's return from injury against Wolfsburg in February, Leipzig head coach Marco Rose said of the 25-year-old: "There are not many players in the world that are as talented as he is.

"Christo does things that you can't expect because he's an impact player and immensely talented... He's got a good feel for when to make a run and can carry the ball into those one-v-one situations. He adds a lot to our game, and his absence has been felt by all of us."

A thigh strain suffered in the 2-1 defeat at Dortmund looks like it will keep Nkunku from taking to the field against City on Tuesday, and that would be a significant blow to Rose's chances of masterminding a win.

Still without first-choice goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, as well as combative midfielder Xaver Schlager, Rose has some selection headaches to contend with, but he still has plenty of exceptional talent to call on.

Centre-back Josko Gvardiol will again be tasked with stopping Haaland, as he did expertly in the first leg, while he also scored Leipzig's equalising goal.

The Croatian found the net in Saturday's 3-0 win against Borussia Monchengladbach as well, as did Timo Werner, whose importance will be paramount in the absence of Nkunku.

Werner has 13 goals in 27 games since his return from Chelsea, and his pace on the counter-attack against a City team who often push high should be a key factor.

Dani Olmo is another attacking option who has been out with injury, with Rose suggesting the Spain international could at least play a part off the bench against City.

In Nkunku, though, they will be without their main man, assuming he does not make a miraculous recovery.

At his pre-match press conference, City manager Pep Guardiola was asked about the Frenchman's likely absence, saying: "Nkunku is an exceptional player, but they live this season without him and do it really well without him."

Whether they can manage really well without him again will be the difference between the Champions League quarter-finals and elimination.

Real Madrid have reportedly identified Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and Manchester City's Joao Cancelo as their three primary targets in a €300million plan.

The Spanish giants have been pursuing 19-year-old Bellingham for months, while 22-year-old Kvaratskhelia has emerged as one of world football's breakout prospects during his first Serie A season.

Cancelo's future with City is also up in the air after Pep Guardiola allowed him to be loaned to Bayern Munich, with the German club hesitant to make the move permanent.

They could be three of the biggest names to move in the upcoming transfer window, and Madrid are said to want to bring them all to LaLiga instead of resuming the chase for Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

TOP STORY – MADRID PLAN AMBITIOUS MOVE FOR WORLD-CLASS TRIO

According to Fichajes.net, Madrid will try to secure all three of their top targets for a combined fee in the range of €300m.

The report states they are comfortable with the asking price of Kvaratskhelia, which is said to be a minimum of €100m, while they expect Liverpool to rival them in a €150m chase for Bellingham.

Cancelo has a €70m (£61.5m) buy clause in his loan deal, which is said to be more palatable to Madrid than Bayern, as they view him as a long-term solution at right-back.

 

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider is reporting Manchester United remain keen on 26-year-old Inter defender Denzel Dumfries, and that the Italian club's financial situation could tempt them to accept a bid in the region of €50m (£44m).

– According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter and Milan are enamoured with 21-year-old Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, who is among Ligue 1's top scorers this season during a loan stint with Reims.

Manchester United are concerned with the prospect of a drawn-out pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane and will instead prioritise Napoli's Victor Osimhen or Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic, per ESPN.

– Journalist Ekrem Konur is reporting Atletico Madrid plan to offer Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino a two-year deal with an option for a third year.

– According to The Athletic, 31-year-old Neymar wants to finish his career at Paris Saint-Germain and has no interest in leaving.

England's top clubs are reportedly investigating what it would take to pry Joao Palhinha away from Fulham at the end of the season.

Palhinha, 27, is in his first Premier League campaign after arriving in a £17million move from Sporting CP in July, and he immediately forced his way into Marco Silva's first team.

All 24 of his league appearances this season have come as a starter, and his three goals for the surprisingly competent Cottagers match his best return for a league season.

But the area he shines is on the defensive side, tallying the most tackles of any midfielder in Europe's big five leagues this season, and he has been a driving force behind his side's rise from Championship winners to a top-half Premier League outfit.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, MANCHESTER UNITED AND ARSENAL CIRCLE PALHINHA

According to The Sun, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Tottenham are all showing interest in Portugal international Joao Palhinha.

The report states that it is believed Palhinha's terrific debut season in England – as well as the four years remaining on his contract – has more than doubled his transfer value to over £40m.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail adds that Liverpool are considered "the most serious suitor", and estimates that his value could reach £60m.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Athletic is reporting Manchester City will be at the front of the queue to sign 26-year-old left-back Ben Chilwell if he is part of an expected mass exodus from Chelsea at the end of the season.

– According to journalist Nicolo Schira, Paris Saint-Germain have joined Chelsea and Manchester United as clubs keen on breakout 24-year-old striker Victor Osimhen at Napoli.

Inter are considered the favourites to land Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram when he leaves the club on a free transfer at the end of the season, per Calciomercato.

– Sport is reporting in-demand 18-year-old Athletico Paranaense forward Vitor Roque would favour a move to Barcelona after rejecting an approach from Arsenal.

– According to Marca, Real Madrid are stepping back from their long-term pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 exit has prompted speculation about a squad overhaul.

Neymar's future in the French capital is in doubt, while pressure has ramped up on head coach Christophe Galtier.

PSG will be an interesting watch during the next transfer window as they show their hand on their future direction.


TOP STORY – PSG PLOT MOVES FOR SILVA AND DEMBELE

Paris Saint-Germain are plotting off-season moves to sign Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele , according to Diario Sport.

The Parisiens are monitoring Dembele's status at the Blaugrana with only one year left on his contract, with a €50million release clause.

Barcelona have been linked with Silva but may struggle to facilitate that deal given €65m asking price, with PSG better placed to table that figure.

The report claims PSG's move for Dembele hinges on Neymar and whether he stays in Paris.

  
ROUND-UP

– AS reports Real Madrid are still angling to sign PSG's Kylian Mbappe after a long courtship. The report claims Los Blancos want to sign him as a free agent when his contract expires in 2024 and have prioritised him over Man City's Erling Haaland .

Tottenham are ready to launch a move to sign Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford on a cut-price deal, according to The Sun. The report claims Pickford has a clause in his new Everton deal, signed last month, if they are relegated although the Toffees are understood to want around £35m.

PSG are planning a bid for Villarreal defender Pau Torres in the next transfer window, reports The Mirror. Manchester United opted against signing him last year.

Barcelona 's top priority in the off-season is to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez , according to Sport.

– Calciomercato claims Milan have cooled their interest in Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita as his wage demands are beyond what they can offer.

Bayern Munich continue to monitor the status of Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic , reports Calciomercato.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier has no concerns about a perceived lack of "unity" at the club in the wake of their Champions League elimination.

PSG returned to winning ways on Saturday, beating Brest 2-1 away from home thanks to a late strike from Kylian Mbappe, who equalled Edinson Cavani as the club's all-time leading scorer in Ligue 1 (138).

But the match was still very much being discussed in the context of their European failure, with PSG suffering a 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday that saw them knocked out at the last-16 stage.

Since then, talk of internal displeasure has dominated the news agenda around PSG, with Galtier and Luis Campos – the club's football advisor – having their futures called into question.

However, Galtier insists everyone is still on the same page.

"I speak every day with my management team," Galtier told Canal Plus. "Luis is by my side every day; the president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi] is very present.

"We must finish the season, seek the title. We must go and seek this title. There is unity, I've no doubts about unity.

"I am a coach who will fight with the team to claim the 11th title."

Saturday's performance was hardly the emphatic response PSG fans would have likely craved.

PSG looked slow and lethargic for much of the game, and a 1-1 draw would not have been less than they deserved.

Brest appeared good value for a point after Franck Honorat cancelled out Carlos Soler's opener, but the combination of Lionel Messi and Mbappe proved decisive in second-half stoppage time.

Galtier believes the late winner was a just reward.

"It may seem cruel for Brest, but in the match we've had seven very favourable situations," he added.

"Brest scored a good goal in transition, but overall, we deserved to score at least two goals.

"People can say it's a small victory, but I say it's a victory. It's important, three days after the disappointment.

"There's been a general remobilisation. It shouldn't be overlooked in relation to the goal scored in the 92nd minute."

Kylian Mbappe scored a late winner as Paris Saint-Germain beat Brest 2-1 in Ligue on Saturday, but their performance was not an emphatic response to Champions League elimination.

PSG appeared to be limping to a 1-1 draw at Stade Francis-Le Ble, which would have been a major disappointment after defeat to Bayern Munich, only for Mbappe to step up and spare their blushes.

Carlos Soler had put PSG in front late in the first half, but Brest arguably played the better football and were good value for Franck Honorat's excellent equaliser.

A commendable point looked set to be Brest's reward for a spirited display, though Lionel Messi and Mbappe linked up in the 90th minute to put PSG 11 points clear.

PSG quickly established control and almost took an early lead.

Despite a comical air kick, Messi managed to nudge the ball to Soler while stumbling, and the Spaniard saw his attempt pushed onto the post by Marco Bizot.

Bizot could not deny Soler in the 37th minute, however, the midfielder smashing home after Mbappe's long-range strike was parried.

But PSG were soon pegged back.

The lively Honorat brought down Romain Del Castillo's lofted throughball and held off Sergio Ramos and Timothee Pembele, before emphatically finishing beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Honorat turned provider 10 minutes after half-time, but Lilian Brassier's wayward header failed to do the pinpoint delivery justice.

PSG's desperation soon began to spawn chances. Bizot pushed a Messi curler wide, while Mbappe spurned two opportunities.

The two later combined to seal the points, however.

Mbappe broke the offside trap to collect Messi's pass and he slotted home after rounding the helpless Bizot.

Kylian Mbappe scored a late winner as Paris Saint-Germain beat Brest 2-1 in Ligue on Saturday, but their performance was not an emphatic response to Champions League elimination.

PSG appeared to be limping to a 1-1 draw at Stade Francis-Le Ble, which would have been a major disappointment after defeat to Bayern Munich, only for Mbappe to step up and spare their blushes.

Carlos Soler had put PSG in front late in the first half, but Brest arguably played the better football and were good value for Franck Honorat's excellent equaliser.

A commendable point looked set to be Brest's reward for a spirited display, though Lionel Messi and Mbappe linked up in the 90th minute to put PSG 11 points clear.

Paris Saint-Germain will submit a bid to buy the Stade de France, a club spokesperson has confirmed.

The Ligue 1 champions said they would "explore alternative options" for their home stadium in January after Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said the Parc des Princes – owned by Paris City Council – was not for sale.

A club spokesperson told AFP "we are candidates" to buy the Stade de France, which has been home to the France national team since opening in 1998.

A consortium of French companies, Vinci and Bouygues, holds the lease for the 80,000-seater stadium, with any potential buyout set to take place after 2025.

PSG's reported alternative option would be a "renovated" Parc des Princes – their home since 1974 – on which they completed a €75million upgrade over three years after extending their lease in 2013 to 2043. 

The club would be willing to commit an additional €500million towards further renovations, but only if they owned the stadium, while another possibility may see them build a new venue located outside Paris.

PSG are eight points clear at the top of Ligue 1, but were knocked out of the Champions League following their last-16 defeat by Bayern Munich in midweek.

Neymar underwent successful surgery on his season-ending ankle injury on Friday, Paris Saint-Germain announced.

The Brazilian has been out of action since being carried off in a thrilling 4-3 Ligue 1 victory over Lille last month.

The 31-year-old had been enjoying his most productive season for PSG since the 2018-19 campaign, equalling a tally of 34 direct goal involvements (18 goals, 16 assists) in all competitions – joint second-highest in his PSG career, behind the 44 in his debut season.

PSG have won both of their Ligue 1 games in Neymar's absence to move eight points clear at the top of the table, though they were eliminated from the Champions League following a 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Head coach Christophe Galtier confirmed earlier this week that Neymar would miss the remainder of the season, with the forward expected to be sidelined for three to four months.

A club statement issued on Friday read: "Neymar underwent surgery late Friday morning at ASPETAR Hospital in Doha, by Professors Pieter D'Hooghe, James Calder and Rodrigo Lasmar.

"The intervention went very well. The player will now follow a rest and care protocol."

Christophe Galtier has no reservations over Lionel Messi's commitment to Paris Saint-Germain after their Champions League exit, despite the Argentine entering the final four months of his contract.

Messi is yet to agree fresh terms with PSG ahead of his deal expiring at the end of June, while former Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos is in a similar situation.

Wednesday's Champions League last-16 elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich has led to suggestions PSG's star-studded forward line of Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar may be broken up as part of a rebuild.

Despite PSG's early European exit, Galtier does not expect the likes of Messi and Ramos – both of whom have been linked with a move to MLS – to lower their standards in the coming weeks.

"There is no doubt about these two great players with incredible track records, who know this kind of situation," Galtier said at a press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Brest.

"They are very high-level players, who go quickly from one game to another. Regarding their contractual situations, they are used to living in this kind of moment."

Galtier also denied there was a need to convince Mbappe to remain at the Parc des Princes, with PSG's latest Champions League failure increasing speculation he could seek an exit.   

"I don't have to try to convince Kylian Mbappe," Galtier said. "Kylian is a Paris Saint-Germain player, he shows it every time he plays, and he has a great determination to succeed and take the club as high as possible."

PSG must now shift their focus to Ligue 1, with Galtier's men holding an eight-point advantage at the summit as they chase a record-breaking 11th French title.

Galtier believes PSG's achievements in the competition have been unfairly belittled, highlighting the celebrations that accompany Bayern's regular Bundesliga successes and calling for the French top flight to receive greater respect.

"If PSG win this title, it will be the 11th, which has never been reached in this country," he said. "We should not minimise this achievement. 

"Some of our players have extraordinary records but are obsessed with adding this trophy, some haven't won it before. It's a very important thing.

"You all send out the message that this league title is easy, but it isn't. I see what's happening abroad. Bayern don't win the Champions League every year.

"But every time they win their league, they have a big celebration, they share it with their supporters and everyone at the club. 

"It must be the same with us. We need to stop trivialising being French champions. It is not easy."

Thierry Henry warned Paris Saint-Germain will struggle to keep Kylian Mbappe and urged the club to rethink their transfer strategy after another painful Champions League exit.

France great Henry believes PSG fans have found it difficult to embrace the global superstars who have arrived during the Qatar Sports Investments era, suggesting they are hankering after a side with more French representation.

Mbappe was the only Frenchman in coach Christophe Galtier's starting XI against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, and Henry suspects the 2-0 defeat in Germany, sealing a 3-0 aggregate success for Bayern, could hasten the striker's exit.

Despite finishing as the World Cup's top scorer with France, since returning to PSG there has been little for Mbappe to smile about.

Results in Ligue 1 have been largely decent enough, with top spot locked down for now, but the Parisians were ousted from the Coupe de France by Marseille, and now they are out of Europe too.

Galtier will be under scrutiny, but if Mbappe begins to question his future that would be a devastating blow. He was persuaded to resist Real Madrid's interest last May, but Henry fancies Mbappe may want to reconsider his commitment.

Speaking on CBS Sports Golazo, Henry said PSG should turn their focus to local talent, saying: "If that's the project, maybe the fans can look at it, and it can look like something that's very interesting. Maybe it can be a way – I don't think it can be a way – to keep Kylian if he sees that they're going that way. I think it's going to be a tough one now to keep him."

PSG have lost at the Champions League last-16 stage in five of the last seven seasons, landing some tough draws in that time, twice losing to Real Madrid while also going out to Barcelona, Manchester United and now Bayern.

 

Henry said there is "a fracture" between PSG and the club's traditional fanbase.

With the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar having been brought to the Parc des Princes, Henry considers it a "crazy" situation to have supporters in revolt.

"Because if you told me 20 years ago Paris would have that team I would have said, 'You're joking, this is not happening'," Henry said.

"Even their fans would have said, 'Please give me the paper now, I'll sign'.

"And now they have that, they're not always happy about it because I don't think they can relate to the team.

"So do you go back and get young French players from the area of Paris because they grew up idolising that club?"

The former Arsenal and Barcelona forward added: "Sometimes you have to grab the community, you have to grab the people that love the club.

"Is it Paris Saint-Germain, or what are you building? Are you going to get players for the sake of getting players, and then let's play? For me, bring the best young French players back because a lot of them do support Paris Saint-Germain.

"They got Mbappe from Monaco. He was young, a lot of people wanted him. They got Neymar [when he was] young. It's still an attractive club."

Mbappe, who hit seven goals in the group stage, was questioned about his future in the moments after Wednesday's defeat at the Allianz Arena, saying: "No, no, I'm calm, the only thing that matters to me this season is winning the championship and then we'll see."

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