According to a Telegraph report, Paris St. Germain is closing in on a £34.9m deal for a midfielder not named Idrissa Gueye. Leandro Paredes from Zenit St. Petersburg is reportedly making the move. The Telegraph wants to make this about some sort of Chelsea interest, which is irrelevant. The real story here is what it does to their pursuit of Gana and their issues with Everton.
PSG is in a really tight spot with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. Funded by the Qatari oil state, the Parisian club is being investigated for whether the Qatar sponsorships paid the club fair market value, or if they paid above that value to circumvent financial rules.
The French side has been in trouble for this before (along with Manchester City) and the general belief is that they are likely looking at a Champion’s League ban if they find themselves afoul of the rules again.
This led them to lowballing offers for Everton’s Idrissa Gueye. Gana is, statistically, one of the very best ballwinners on planet earth, and PSG wanting to acquire him for less than £30m is a desperate ploy to feed their out-of-control spending habits for less than market value. If this move for Paredes becomes official at this price, it is impossible for them to stay under FFP regulations if they also acquire Gana.
More directly, in footballing terms, Paredes occupies the same real estate on the pitch that Gana does, and is five years younger. PSG is a bit irrational when it comes to their accumulation of attackers, but I do not see them as likely to bring in two defensive midfielders given their other concerns and needs.
If this move becomes official, it is wonderful news for Everton, because it means that Gana is very likely to stay for the foreseeable future. He is an absolutely elite defensive midfielder, and he plays at a position that typically ages well.
I expect him to be a bedrock of Everton football club for years to come if this PSG interest dies away. Holding off a club of PSG’s status would be a wonderful show of strength for Everton football club, stating their own position as one of the larger clubs on earth.