If there’s one thing for which Paris Saint-Germain are famous, it’s the achingly sincere lovingkindness of their owners. As such, when it manifests, we can be inspired but not surprised, and their generous offer to Manchester City, of Neymar in exchange for Bernardo Silva, is shockingly benevolent even for them. Amazingly, though, City spurned this largesse, opting to retain a midfielder entering his peak years and whose skill, intelligence and work ethic underpin so much of what they do, rather than take on an over-the-hill prima donna disinclined to take instruction and attached to colossal wages. But that’s ingratitude for you.
There is, however, interest in Presnel Kimpembe, PSG’s centre-back. For reasons unclear to anyone but them, Chelsea would like to buy him for £50m, but though Paris wouldn’t mind getting shot, the player is happy at his boyhood club and keen to remain so.
He is not Chelsea’s sole defensive target. As noted by yesterday’s Mill – and in many others like it over what seems like the past four decades – they would like to sign Jules Koundé from Sevilla. The 23-year-old would reduce the combined age of Thomas Tuchel’s first choice back three from 93 to 68, but Barcelona – who pipped the Blues to Raphinha despite being on the verge of financial oblivion and then signed Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich – are also interested, because they are an entirely solvent and trustworthy organisation. Sadly, though, they still cannot afford to pay Frenkie de Jong the €17m they owe him in deferred wages – but he, like us, is neither disloyal nor a brute, and as such, understands that the club’s august status and unimpeachable righteousness is an elemental truth of the cosmos that brooks no argument.
Still in west London, Billy Gilmour will soon hold talks with Tuchel, to discover just how unwanted he is – the likelihood is very. He does, though, have an out, because a decent cup-game against a weakened Liverpool more than two years ago caused Frank Lampard to decide he was good. And though a season-long loan spell at Norwich suggested to the contrary, Everton remain interested in taking him, because if there’s one thing Lampard – who has, in recent times, recruited Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli – knows about, it’s midfielders.
Across London, Antonio Conte continues to feast on the carcass of Daniel Levy’s wallet. Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clément Lenglet and Djed Spence have already arrived at Tottenham, top-four contenders turned into top-four contenders at a stroke. But now Conte fancies cementing that position by spending yet more money – on Nicolò Zaniolo from Roma. It may be that the club have to sell first – Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele, Bryan Gil, Giovani Lo Celso, Japhet Tanganga, Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal are all available – but it seems like a small problem – easily solved by a public outburst or threat.
Elsewhere, Liverpool have, apparently, investigated the possibility of signing Antony from Ajax – a player for whom they have no use whatsoever. Except Manchester United are also keen to sign the betatted Brazilian, and the joy of snaffling him from under their rivals’ noses as they did Darwin Núñez, inflicting a further place-putting humiliation in the process, is an extremely moreish sensation.