Christophe Galtier chose the example of Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea to justify his belief that Paris Saint-Germain can win the Champions League while he pulls the strings.

The former Saint-Etienne, Lille and Nice boss has stepped up by joining a club who not only expect to win Ligue 1 but also harbour a strong desire to be crowned kings of European football.

That is the clear objective for Galtier, and he considers PSG to be handsomely placed to challenge in the 2022-23 season.

Chelsea went through a string of big-name coaches, including Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink, before caretaker boss Di Matteo delivered the Champions League in the 2011-12 season.

Similarly, PSG have seen Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc, Unai Emery, Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino fall short of the club's ultimate target.

Now Galtier gets his chance, and he sees no reason why he should not be the man who succeeds where previous illustrious names failed.

"Do you know who won the first Champions League with Chelsea? Di Matteo," Galtier said. "And would anyone have bet a centime on him?"

Galtier told L'Equipe: "I am very ambitious. I came to Paris to win. There are already three national titles: we have to win them. You have to break records. And in all modesty, I tell you: I came to Paris to win everything."

PSG beat second-tier side Quevilly-Rouen 2-0 in their first game under Galtier on Friday, as Sergio Ramos converted a penalty won by Lionel Messi before academy player Djeidi Gassama sealed the win.

The Ligue 1 champions will fly out to Japan ahead of fixtures with Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka.

Galtier will hope to last longer as PSG boss than Di Matteo managed with Chelsea. Appointed caretaker in March 2012, and subsequently handed the job permanently after FA Cup and Champions League triumphs, the former Blues midfielder was sacked in November of the same year after a string of disappointing results.

Lionel Messi won a penalty that Sergio Ramos converted as Paris Saint-Germain got a new era under Christophe Galtier off to a winning start on Friday.

The French champions, who appointed Galtier as Mauricio Pochettino's successor earlier in July, saw off second-tier side Quevilly-Rouen 2-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Galtier named a starting XI containing a mix of big names and younger players, with Messi partnering Mauro Icardi in attack, while Vitinha, signed from Porto, was given a debut in midfield.

Messi played a big part in PSG's opener as he was brought down in the box for a penalty, which Ramos stepped up to convert midway through the first half.

Without Kylian Mbappe and Neymar for their pre-season opener, PSG were rewarded with a second goal early in the second half through 18-year-old academy player Djeidi Gassama.

PSG, who changed their entire side for the second half, will now fly out to Japan ahead of fixtures with Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka.

Marco Verratti plans to seek French citizenship after falling in love with the country during his decade at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Italy midfielder joined PSG from Pescara in July 2012 and has won eight Ligue 1 titles, while also helping PSG reach the 2020 Champions League final.

Verratti was a Euro 2020 winner with the Azzurri, but the 29-year-old now feels such an allegiance to France that he wishes to become a fully fledged citizen of the country.

"Paris is a fantastic city and this country has given me a lot," Verratti told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I feel very French, while remaining Italian. One day, I'll request French nationality, given that my children were born here."

PSG were set to get their pre-season under way on Friday as they faced Quevilly-Rouen in a friendly, their first match since the appointment of head coach Christophe Galtier.

Barcelona's off-season has the potential to become even more complicated than what it already is.

Trying to balance their ambition with the economic realities of their situation is creating a tricky environment with the players to have departed and are still at the club this off-season.

According to reports, one player whose departure can ease the financial burden Barcelona have placed on themselves does not want to leave.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA INFORM DE JONG OF MANCHESTER UNITED MOVE

Frenkie de Jong has reportedly been told by Barcelona they want him to leave for Manchester United, according to The Athletic.

The Blaugrana are trying to convince De Jong that while they believe he is a talented footballer, they must sell him in order to balance their excessive wage bill.

The clubs have reportedly agreed on a guaranteed transfer fee of £63million (€75m) but the 25-year-old has no apparent desire to leave club, given Barcelona still owe him a deferred salary payment.

Meanwhile, the arrivals of Raphinha and Franck Kessie this off-season complicate the club's pitch of De Jong's transfer being economically necessary, as opposed to the sale being a purely sporting decision.

 

ROUND-UP

– Juventus have approached Arsenal over signing Gabriel Magalhaes as they eye a potential replacement for Matthijs de Ligt, The Independent reports.

– Meanwhile, the Gunners are working on a deal to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City, per The Athletic

– Leeds United are close to agreeing terms with PSG over 20-year-old striker Arnaud Kalimuendo, Sport is reporting.

– At the same time, PSG have been joined by West Ham in the race to sign Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, according to Fabrizio Romano.

 

Sassuolo are in no rush to sell prized asset Gianluca Scamacca amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain and West Ham.

That is the message from Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali, who discussed the ongoing negotiations for the striker with Sky Sport Italia on Thursday.

Scamacca has emerged a hot property this transfer window, having scored 16 goals in 36 appearances in the 2021-22 Serie A campaign.

His tally was only bettered by five players – Giovanni Simeone, Tammy Abraham (both 17), Lautaro Martinez (21), Dusan Vlahovic (24) and Ciro Immobile (27) – in the Italian top flight.

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland, Vinicius Junior and Vlahovic were the only players younger than Scamacca, 23, to score 15 or more goals in Europe's top five leagues.

Despite having Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi Neymar and Mauro Icardi to call on, new PSG coach Christophe Galtier is reportedly interested in Scamacca, who earned his first Italy caps last season.

Europa League semi-finalists West Ham are also said to be interested, and Carnevali suggested David Moyes' side are rumoured to have offered more money for the forward, who may prefer the project at PSG.

Pressed on an update on where Scamacca could be heading, Carnevali responded: "I think it's normal at this time that there are market rumours about some players. 

"There is difficulty but I strongly believe in the players' professionalism, we see them constantly and they work waiting to see what will happen. There is certainly nothing yet."

When it was suggested West Ham had bid more than PSG, Carnevali added: "Yes, there are some bonuses of difference and there is a discourse that is not only linked to the economic aspect but can also be linked to the player's own aspect, to the technical aspect. 

"One thing is certain, we do not need to sell right now. We have to listen to the player's needs and see the bids that are made and that can arrive from one day to the next."

Sassuolo could also lose another star attacker this transfer window, with Juventus and Milan attempting to sign Italy international Domenico Berardi, who has posted doubles figures for goals in Serie A for his last three seasons.

After last season's disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Villarreal, Bayern Munich are on the verge of transforming their team in one transfer window.

Sadio Mane and Ryan Gravenberch are potentially transformative signings for Bayern, and they apparently are not done just yet.

According to reports, Gravenberch's international team-mate is doing to what he can to force a move to Sabener Strasse.

 

TOP STORY – DE LIGT BAYERN'S TOP TARGET

Bayern Munich are reportedly edging closer to securing the signature of wantaway Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to Bild.

De Ligt is reportedly willing to lower his wage demands in order to help force through a move, after a gap in expectations between the two clubs over the initial offer.

Bayern's proposal to the Bianconeri was reportedly €70million with an extra €10m in bonuses, with the latter looking at €80m as a base to any package.

De Ligt's move to lower wage expectations gives the reigning Bundesliga champions added leverage over Juventus, who after Paulo Dybala's departure, would not want to see another star run down their contract.

 

ROUND-UP

– Chelsea are now targeting PSG centre-back Presnel Kimpembe after almost securing Kalidou Koulibaly's signature, The Guardian reports.

– Meanwhile, Mason Mount is seeking to begin negotiations with the Blues over a new long-term deal, per The Athletic

– Ousmane Dembele is set to sign a new two-year contract with Barcelona after his previous deal expired, Sport is reporting.

– Charles de Ketelaere prefers a move to Milan despite interest from Leeds United for the Club Brugge striker, according to Fabrizio Romano.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo's future at Manchester United remains unclear after stepping away from their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

The 37-year-old Portuguese has reportedly told United he wants to leave this off-season, although new boss Erik ten Hag said the Portuguese is in their plans for the upcoming campaign.

Ronaldo is one season into a two-year deal at Old Trafford, having re-joined United in August last year.

TOP STORY – RONALDO OFFERED TO PSG IN MESSI LINK-UP

Le Parisien claims that Manchester United's Ronaldo has been offered to French champions Paris Saint-Germain by his agent Jorge Mendes.

PSG, however, were not interested in the 37-year-old as they felt he was not the right fit and would put strain on their bulging wage bill, headlined by Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Mendes has also held talks with Bayern Munich and Chelsea as he seeks a move away from Old Trafford for Ronaldo.

ROUND-UP

–  Chelsea are homing in on a €40 million (£34m) deal for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly with the two parties in talks on a five-year deal, claims Sky Sport Italia. The Blues are looking for defensive reinforcements after Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger's departures.

–  Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Ajax's Lisandro Martinez with negotiations entering key stages reports Fabrizio Romano. The two clubs will meet on Wednesday, with Ajax having turned down United's previous approach, but the Argentinian is keen to move to the Premier League.

– The Telegraph claims that Newcastle United have held discussions with Real Sociedad about a deal for Swedish striker Alexander Isak with the fee believed to be a club record.

Barcelona have agreed to a five-year deal with Raphinha, with the move from Leeds United worth €67m (£55m) according to Fabrizio Romano.

– Marca reports that Real Madrid will beat Barcelona to the signature of 17-year-old Algeciras winger Alvaro Leiva.

Italy coach Roberto Mancini has urged Roma attacker Nicolo Zaniolo to not waste time and fulfil his potential amid speculation over a move to Juventus.

Zaniolo scored the winner for Jose Mourinho's Roma in the Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord back in May.

But the 23-year-old, who is one of Italy's hottest prospects, has otherwise been repeatedly frustrated by injuries and failure to deliver when offered the chance to perform.

The winger missed Italy's victorious Euro 2020 campaign with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and was absent for the entire 2020-21 term due to a reoccurrence of the same issue.

Zaniolo managed 28 games in Serie A in the 2021-22 campaign – his most since joining Roma in 2018 – but only registered two goals and as many assists, his worst return for the Giallorossi.

As reports grow over a move to Juve, who have recently brought in Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria, Mancini says the clock is ticking for the Italy international to start performing.

Pressed on whether joining Juve would be beneficial to both Zaniolo and Italy, Mancini told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I can't say. I know he needs to understand the luck which has guided him.

"In a flash, he had the national side and Roma, he cannot waste any more time and opportunities."

Sassuolo forward Gianluca Scamacca is another to be linked with a transfer away, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in bringing the striker to the French capital.

The 23-year-old has seven Italy caps to his name and scored 16 times in 36 league appearances last season, yet Mancini wants to see more from Scamacca.

"He has everything to be a top centre-forward and he knows it," Mancini added.

"But he needs to do a little bit more, above all in terms of character: when the level increases, technical and physical qualities help but aren't enough."

Angel Di Maria has officially joined Juventus on a free transfer, departing from Paris Saint-Germain after seven seasons in Ligue 1.

Di Maria, 34, has won league titles with Benfica, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and netted 14 goals with 21 assists in his seven Champions League campaigns playing for the French giants.

Over the past decade, his 131 assists in Europe's top-five leagues trails only Thomas Muller (149 assists) and Lionel Messi (174).

In Di Maria's first interview as a Juventus player, he said coming to the historic club is something that had been on his bucket list.

"[It means] everything, because I have been in every country, in the best team, and I was missing Italy," he said.

"The best team in Italy is Juve, it is the biggest club and I was very excited, very eager to come.

"I knew that last year Juve couldn't win the Scudetto or the Coppa d'Italia, and I think that the motivation to come and to be able to achieve everything with Juve was something very nice, and that's why I said yes.

"For me it's a new step in my career… from the moment I said yes, I'm seeing it on the first day, all the people here are like a family, all the time looking after you. That makes me very happy."

When asked what he could promise the Juventus fans, Di Maria said he can guarantee that his will to win will never be in question.

"I think the only thing I can promise the fans is my effort," he said. "My sacrifice, the mentality of wanting to win – and to be able to achieve as many titles as possible.

"I will always leave everything on the field, as I have always done. That will never be lacking.

"Hopefully we can win all the titles and we'll all be very happy."

In Juventus' first statement on the Argentine's signing, they called him "a world-class forward, capable of scoring exceptional goals, but also able to coordinate the entire frontline, often sending his teammates through on goal."

It finished saying: "He is Angel Di Maria. And he is a Juventus player."

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alexander Letellier has signed a new two-year contract with the Ligue 1 champions.

Letellier has spent the past two seasons on PSG's books, having emerged through the club's academy, but first-team opportunities have been hard to come by.

He played third choice to Gianluigi Donnarumma and Keylor Navas last season and made just one appearance, coming as a late substitute in PSG's final game of the campaign.

The 31-year-old's previous deal expired at the end of the 2021-22 season, but PSG confirmed on their official website on Wednesday that fresh terms have been agreed.

PSG, who appointed Christophe Galtier has their new boss on Tuesday, also have Sergio Rico among their back-up options in goal following his return from a loan spell with Mallorca.

With his departure from Manchester United on the horizon, Paul Pogba had been free to discuss his future with other clubs since January.

Failing to ever really match his then world-record price tag with performances on the pitch, the World Cup winner's next destination always seemed limited to a few options.

Reports suggest a return to Serie A and Juventus is imminent.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA SET FOR FOUR-YEAR DEAL AT JUVENTUS

Paul Pogba is expected to complete medical in Turin this weekend to open the path for a free transfer to Juventus, according to Sky Sports.

Leaving Manchester United at the end of June upon the expiry of his contract, the move to Juve would see him return to the club where he spent four years and established his reputation.

Upon completion of his medical, the 29-year-old is reportedly set to sign a four-year deal with the club.

This comes after Pogba turned down what was reported to be a 3.5 per cent increase on his wages at Manchester United.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich have reached a verbal agreement with Juve's Matthijs de Ligt amid interest from Chelsea, according to Sport1.

- Tottenham are keen on signing Villarreal's Pau Torres despite the impending arrival of Clement Lenglet, the Mirror is reporting.

- Newcastle United are willing to meet Bayer Leverkusen's asking price for Moussa Diaby, per the Telegraph.

- New Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier hopes Neymar can stay at the club amid speculation over his future, The Sun is reporting.

New Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier has pledged to end predecessor Mauricio Pochettino's practice of rotating between goalkeepers Gianluigi Donnarumma and Keylor Navas. 

Galtier was announced as PSG's new head coach on Tuesday, with the former Lille and Nice boss signing a two-year deal with the club.

The man who beat PSG to the Ligue 1 title when in charge of Lille during the 2020-21 season takes over a squad containing two world-class goalkeepers in Italy's Euro 2020 hero Donnarumma and three-time Champions League winner Navas.

Pochettino used both goalkeepers often during his one full season in charge of the Parisian giants, with Navas making 26 appearances in all competitions and Donnarumma featuring 24 times.

Donnarumma managed one clean sheet more (nine) than Navas did (eight) despite making two appearances fewer, while the two goalkeepers posted similar save percentage figures (Navas saving 75.76 per cent of shots faced compared to the Italian's 75.27 per cent).

Speaking at his unveiling, Galtier argued having a nominated first-choice shot stopper would provide greater clarity.

"I always work with a number one and a number two," he said. 

"It's easier for me and for them to know their position within the squad. I haven't met them yet, but I will do it very quickly."

PSG conceded 36 goals when winning Ligue 1 last season, the joint-fewest in the league alongside Galtier's former club Nice, who registered one more clean sheet (14) than the champions.  

Neymar has been assured he has a big part to play at Paris Saint-Germain under Christophe Galtier, but the new coach warned there will be action taken against any dissenters.

There has been recent speculation about Neymar's future at PSG, with the French club reportedly open to selling him should an acceptable bid come along.

Chelsea have been linked with a possible move for the Brazilian, who cost the French giants a world-record sum when he arrived in 2017 from Barcelona.

Galtier was confirmed as the new head coach at Parc des Princes on Tuesday, taking over from Mauricio Pochettino.

It was inevitable Galtier would be asked about his plans for Neymar, given the scrutiny the 30-year-old has been coming under, and the former Nice and Lille boss made it clear he can be important in the club's future.

"Which coach wouldn't want to have a player like him in his team?" Galtier said "I have a very precise idea of ​​what I will expect from Neymar.

"I will meet him, listen to him, but I want him to stay. For us, it's always better to have a player of such class with us."

Neymar made 22 Ligue 1 appearances last season, scoring 13 goals and adding six assists. It was the most games he has managed in a 38-game league campaign since joining PSG.

Galtier said he wanted his squad to consist of players "that want to win, that want success and want to enjoy football".

"I am not going to perform a revolution in the dressing room," he said. "I am here to listen and I know I have the support of everyone, from the board, to make decisions, and if any player, whoever it is, does not buy into the project there will be action taken."

Galtier, a surprise Ligue 1 champion with Lille in 2020-21, is taking a step up by joining a team where the expectation is that domestic dominance will be secured.

PSG desperately want to add a Champions League title, too, and a failure in Europe would likely see Galtier come under pressure.

He has the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marquinhos and Marco Verratti at his disposal in a star-packed squad.

Sergio Ramos, the veteran former Real Madrid captain, will also be hoping to be more heavily involved during his second season at PSG after an injury-disrupted first campaign.

Galtier, who said he will take a "different approach" to his usual football style owing to the strengths of his squad, insists there must be unity within the group.

"It is a privilege to have a squad with world-class players," he said. "Firstly, it is about speaking to them, and there won't be any compromises in terms of our strength as a group and the targets that we have set out. We have to have a common project without any compromises."

Christophe Galtier has been confirmed as the new Paris Saint-Germain head coach after Mauricio Pochettino left the Ligue 1 champions.

PSG won the league by a margin of 15 points in the 2021-22 season, but Pochettino departed on Tuesday following his failure to deliver their first Champions League title.

Galtier is the man who has been trusted to take over at PSG, strongly supported by new sporting director Luis Campos.

Campos and Galtier have worked together previously when they combined at Lille to create the team that pipped PSG to the Ligue 1 title by a point in 2020-21.

 

Galtier left Lille days after they won that championship, joining Nice.

But he spent only a single season on the French Riviera – finishing fifth and reaching the Coupe de France final – before leaving late last month, with Nice bringing back Lucien Favre as his replacement.

That move came as speculation persisted around Galtier's move to PSG, with Pochettino's exit anticipated since the end of last season.

Pochettino's departure was confirmed just hours before Galtier appeared alongside PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi at a news conference.

Galtier will be tasked with finally ending PSG's wait for Champions League glory, their latest failure in the competition coming in a second-leg collapse against eventual winners Real Madrid in the last 16.

He becomes the club's sixth coach since 2012.

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the departure of Mauricio Pochettino, with Christophe Galtier expected to be named as their new head coach later on Tuesday.

Pochettino's dismissal had long been expected, with PSG again failing to find success in the Champions League last season.

The former Tottenham manager did deliver the Ligue 1 title, but a last-16 defeat to Real Madrid in European competition continued the club's wait for continental glory.

A PSG statement only said the club had "ended their collaboration" with Pochettino, although it was expected he would be sacked with Galtier lined up by Luis Campos, the new football advisor who worked with the former Nice coach at Lille.

"The club would like to thank Mauricio Pochettino and his staff for their work and wish them all the best for the future," the statement added.

Pochettino, who spent two and a half years at PSG as a player, had been in charge since January 2021.

He won the Trophee des Champions and Coupe de France in his first season in Paris – the first major honours of his coaching career – before adding the league championship in 2021-22.

But Campos' arrival signalled a close-season rebuild, even with Kylian Mbappe remaining at the club on a new contract following interest from Real Madrid.

PSG will hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, with Galtier in line for the top job in the capital.

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