PSG planning for life after Mbappe? Haaland heads list of potential targets

By Sports Desk September 09, 2021

Kylian Mbappe remained at Paris Saint-Germain beyond the end of the transfer window, but his long-term future may not lie in the French capital.

The World Cup winner is a free agent at the end of the season and is reportedly ready to move.

Real Madrid, who bid for Mbappe at the start of this campaign, appear his most likely destination, but far less predictable is his potential replacement at PSG.

The Ligue 1 giants have months to plan their next move, so Stats Perform breaks down the possible options to fill Mbappe's big boots.

 

ERLING HAALAND

Borussia Dortmund remained firm in their stance of keeping hold of Haaland in the most recent transfer window, despite some heavyweight clubs reportedly showing an interest as deadline day approached. That interest will only increase in 2022 as the Norwegian has a widely reported €75million release clause that comes into effect at the end of the season. 

Landing Haaland would mean PSG replacing one of the world's best young goal-getters with another player of equivalent standing, the 21-year-old having scored 63 goals in 64 games since his Dortmund debut in January 2020, compared to 54 in 66 matches for Mbappe in all competitions.

HARRY KANE

Following Manchester City's failed pursuit of his signature, Kane announced towards the end of the transfer window he was staying put at Tottenham. City's loss – assuming they are not prepared to go back in for the England captain, as Pep Guardiola recently hinted at – could be PSG's gain.

A reunion with his former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino in Paris would appear to make a lot of sense, if PSG could stump up the huge fee that Tottenham would still insist upon next year. Having finished as Premier League top scorer in three separate campaigns – one of only three players to do so along with Thierry Henry (four times) and Alan Shearer – he will feel he deserves his move to an elite club that can challenge for major honours.

 

LAUTARO MARTINEZ

Lionel Messi and Pochettino will know all about the qualities of their fellow Argentinian, who has shone brighter by the season for Inter over the past three years. At the age of 24 and having been linked with the likes of Barcelona, Tottenham and Man City, Martinez is reportedly on the brink of signing a new deal with the reigning Serie A champions, which could make PSG's life a lot more difficult when it comes to any negotiations.

Whether he is quite of the level to take the place of Mbappe is debatable, and this year should prove telling, with Martinez facing a greater onus to score heavily after Romelu Lukaku's departure from Inter. He has one goal in one appearance this term, a goal-per-game return he will be looking to maintain over the course of 2021-22.

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI

While the likes of Messi, Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann all changed clubs during the transfer window, Lewandowski stayed put at Bayern Munich despite suggestions he was seeking a new challenge elsewhere. With Bayern under no pressure to sell, and the prolific striker having two seasons to run on his contract, a move away this year never seemed a realistic prospect.

But it will be a different matter in nine months' time and PSG could do a lot worse than go all out for the Poland international, even if he is now 33 years of age. Having last term scored 41 times in the Bundesliga – breaking Gerd Muller's single-season record – Lewandowski has maintained his lofty standards in the opening weeks of the new campaign with 10 goals in his first six matches for club and country, going a long way to strengthening his argument of being the best out-and-out striker around.

MOHAMED SALAH

Salah is in an identical position to Lewandowski insofar as the Egypt forward will be about to enter the final 12 months of his contract come the end of the campaign. After previously flirting with LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, PSG have their work cut out persuading Salah to make the move to Ligue 1 instead.

Should they manage that, though, they will have one of Europe's top attacking talents from the past four years. Indeed, since joining Liverpool from Roma ahead of the 2017-18 season, the 29-year-old's tally of 97 goals has been bettered by only four players in Europe's top five leagues: Ciro Immobile (104), Ronaldo (107), Messi (125) and Lewandowski (131).

 

DUSAN VLAHOVIC

The 21-year-old Serbian came of age in Serie A in the 2020-21 campaign, scoring 21 of Fiorentina's 47 goals to finish fourth in the league's scoring charts and earn the division's Under-23 MVP award.

While not quite in the same category as some of the others on this list, Vlahovic may well be the hottest property around come next June as he already has three goals in three appearances for his club in all competitions this term. 

RICHARLISON

Neymar's Brazil strike partner is another who has been touted for a move to Paris since Madrid launched their Mbappe offensive last month. Everton made clear that they were not interested in selling Richarlison in August, but that may change should PSG be prepared to spend big once again.

Now into his fourth season at Goodison Park, Richarlison has yet to score more than 15 Premier League goals in a campaign for the Toffees, but at the age of 24, he has gained huge experience and was a key member of Brazil's recent Olympic gold medal-winning squad in Tokyo. 

Related items

  • Arsenal boss Arteta baffled by McArthur foul on Saka in last-gasp draw with Palace Arsenal boss Arteta baffled by McArthur foul on Saka in last-gasp draw with Palace

    Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left baffled by referee Mike Dean's decision not to dismiss James McArthur in his side's 2-2 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace, despite the aid of VAR.

    Alexandre Lacazette struck a dramatic stoppage-time goal to rescue a point for Arsenal after Palace had recovered from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 in the dying stages of Patrick Vieira's return to his former club on Monday.

    However, Arteta believes visitors Palace should have been reduced to 10 men just before half-time when McArthur caught Bukayo Saka with a late foot as they competed for an aerial ball.

    Despite the hosts being incensed by McArthur's challenge, the Palace midfielder received a yellow card from Dean, while England international Saka was forced to withdraw from the action at the interval due to injury,

    Gunners boss Arteta was adamant that the incident warranted further punishment, especially with the assistance of video technology.

    "It's a clear red card. [McArthur had] no intention to play the ball," he told BBC Sport. "I don't know how with VAR, he hasn't been sent off."

    While generally disappointed with Arsenal's performance, Arteta praised the resilience they demonstrated to ensure a share of the spoils.

    Arsenal made two errors leading to goals in a Premier League game for the first time since April 2019 against Wolves and for the first time at the Emirates since December 2017 versus Manchester United.

    "After the [opening] goal, we didn't manage the game well enough," he added. "We didn't have composure or control. It [the dip in performance] was for a long period, which is worrying.

    "We started better in the second half. We had more control, and then we gave the ball away two times for the two goals.

    "The most positive thing is we kept going. They kept believing until the end; that's how we managed to get a point."

    Lacazette, who grabbed that late equaliser, also praised the hosts' character, while paying tribute to the home crowd for providing much-needed energy.

    "At the end, we could draw. The main thing was to avoid the loss," said the French forward, whose last four Premier League goals at the Emirates have all come in London derbies.

    "We wanted to win; we started well but then stopped playing. I think this is something we have to work on in the future. He [Arteta] told us when we play well, the fans are with us. This is what I tried to bring. 

    "When the fans are with us, it gives us players energy. We need to give them what they want. We showed we have character. Even when we are down, we don't give up."

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had opened the scoring for Arsenal – the Gunners star netting in three consecutive home Premier League games for the first time since September 2019.

    Since making his Arsenal debut in February 2018, Aubameyang has scored 91 goals in 156 club appearances. The only Premier League players to score more in all competitions during this period are Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (109) and Tottenham forward Harry Kane (99).

  • Ancelotti: Hazard more frustrated than anybody with injuries Ancelotti: Hazard more frustrated than anybody with injuries

    Carlo Ancelotti claimed nobody is more frustrated with Eden Hazard's injury problems than the Belgium international himself.

    Hazard joined Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2019 for a reported €100million (£88.5m), but the former Blues star has endured persistent physical issues since his arrival in the Spanish capital.

    He has managed a full 90 minutes on just four occasions in all competitions for Madrid, scoring just five times in 51 matches, prompting supporters and local media to vent their frustrations with the 30-year-old.

    Hazard, though, has registered five starts this term – making eight appearances in total for his 382 minutes – but that short-term recovery has stuttered again as Ancelotti confirmed he would be without the attacker for the trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.

    Despite the unavailability of the former Lille man, Ancelotti insisted Hazard is the most frustrated by the continuous injury problems after the forward returned from international duty with muscle fatigue.

    "Hazard is tired of having these problems, he isn't injured but he has an overload," Ancelotti said at Monday's pre-match news conference.

    "Nobody is more frustrated than Hazard. I think he will be available against Barcelona or Osasuna."

    Hazard has only recorded one goal and one assist in 799 minutes for Madrid in the Champions League (12 appearances).

    At former club Chelsea, he averaged a goal or assist in the competition every 183 minutes, scoring eight goals and setting up a team-mate eight times in his 38 appearances.

    Ancelotti – without Hazard for Tuesday's visit to Ukraine – will have to rely on his other stars, with young prospects Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde impressing recently to place pressure on Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric.

    The former Milan head coach, however, insisted his experienced trio remain an integral part of his plans as Madrid search for domestic and European glory.

    "I think they [Kroos, Casemiro and Modric] are players who continue to compete at the top level," Ancelotti continued.

    "Then we have a squad with young players like [Antonio] Blanco, Camavinga and Valverde who are pushing them a lot.

    "I have to take into account everyone's age and their experience. We have a midfield that can compete against anyone."

  • Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace: Vieira denied on Gunners return by last-gasp Lacazette Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace: Vieira denied on Gunners return by last-gasp Lacazette

    Alexandre Lacazette struck a stoppage-time equaliser as Arsenal rescued a point in their 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

    The Gunners made the ideal start at Emirates Stadium, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finding the net for a third successive home match to give them an early lead.

    However, Palace hit after the break as Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard completed the turnaround on Patrick Vieira's return to his former club.

    But with virtually the last kick of the game, substitute Lacazette fired home a dramatic leveller to stretch the hosts' unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions.

    Arsenal were aiming for a fourth straight home victory and they took the lead after just eight minutes on Monday.

    After an initial corner was overhit, Vicente Guaita did well to push away Nicolas Pepe's curling shot, but Aubameyang was in the right place to volley the rebound into an empty net from close range.

    Seeking a first away win in seven attempts under Vieira, who won three Premier League titles as a Gunner, Palace looked to respond before the break.

    Benteke drilled a low effort straight at Aaron Ramsdale, who also demonstrated brilliant reflexes to tip Conor Gallagher's stoppage-time volley wide.

    But there was no denying Benteke five minutes after the break. Thomas Partey was caught in possession by Jordan Ayew, and former the Liverpool striker skipped away from a challenge before firing home his first goal of the season.

    Arsenal were ruthlessly punished again moments after Guaita brilliantly denied Lacazette, the ball stolen from Albert Sambi Lokonga as Gallagher led a devastating counter before Michael Olise set up Edouard, who beat Ramsdale off the underside of the crossbar.

    However, Palace were denied in the fifth minute of stoppage time, when Lacazette pounced for a dramatic equaliser after Guaita parried Ben White’s initial strike directly into his path.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.