Gonzalo Higuain’s move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) appears to be a matter of time.
Transfer market pundit Fabrizio Romano tweeted on Friday (May 5) that “PSG and Benfica are currently working on the final details of the Hammers transfer. No medical is scheduled yet. Due to the Financial Fair Play (FFP)바카라 rules, we need to get the mandatory buyout clause right after the loan. But it is only a matter of time.”
PSG has undergone many changes this summer. For starters, there’s been a change of manager. Last season, the club won the French Ligue 1 title under Christophe Galtier, but finished just one point behind second-place Reims. They were also knocked out of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) early.
As a result, PSG began looking for a new coach to replace Galtier. In early July, they finally found their man. Luis Enrique. Enrique has a wealth of experience on the big stage, having managed Barcelona and the Spanish national soccer team. Most notably, he led Barcelona to a treble in the 2014-15 season.
Enrique, who will step down from his role with the Spanish national team after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea this summer. However, it did not lead to any concrete negotiations, and he ultimately chose PSG. The contract is for two years.
With the appointment of the new coach complete, PSG has been working on signing players. With the departures of Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, and others, a number of players have arrived across the defense. Marco Asensio, Lee Kang-In, Manuel Ugarte, and Cher N’Dour have been added to the attack and midfield, while Milan Skriniar and Luca Hernandez have donned the PSG shirt in defense.
As of now, PSG is almost done with its roster. However, there is one player on the offensive side of the ball whose future is uncertain. Mbappe. Born in 1998, Mbappe has been touted as the next Ballon d’Or winner. After showing immense potential at AS Monaco, he moved to PSG in 2017. After signing him on loan, PSG reportedly spent a whopping €180 million on the transfer fee alone.
Mbappe has lived up to the hype. Last season, he scored 29 goals and provided five assists in 34 Ligue 1 games, helping PSG win the title. While his on-field performance was not a problem, his off-field behavior was. At the beginning of the season, he was involved in a feud with Neymar over who should take penalty kicks.
He recently dropped a bombshell. Mbappe, who was named the best French player of the 2022-23 season by France’s L’Equipe and France Football, later said in an interview, “In my opinion, playing for PSG doesn’t help. They are a divisive team.”
Mbappe has also publicly signaled that he will not re-sign with the club. Mbappe signed a new contract with PSG last summer, extending his stay until the summer of 2024, with an option for a one-year extension, but he has said he will not trigger that clause. This would allow Mbappe to become a free agent next year.
PSG is now pressuring Mbappe to leave this summer if he does not sign an extension. They threw down the gauntlet by leaving him off the tour roster. But Mbappe is open to leaving next year, even if it means being benched for the entire year.
Of course, even if Mbappe stays, there is one position that needs to be strengthened. That’s up front. While Mbappe is capable of playing this position, his preferred position is on the flanks. Currently in preseason, PSG are playing Asensio up front, but he’s a player who is naturally best on the flanks.
That’s why the likes of Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) and Victor Osimhen (Napoli) have been linked with PSG. And now, it looks like they’ve found the right man. The man in question is Hamus, who made a huge impact at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Hammou is a young Portuguese striker born in 2001.
He has been playing for Benfica’s first team since 2020. He really came into his own in the 2021-22 season, scoring seven goals in 29 Portuguese league games (17 starts, 12 substitutions). Last season, he was at his best, scoring 19 goals in 30 league games as he filled the void left by the departure of Darwin Núñez to Liverpool.
His performances earned him a spot in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He was included in Portugal’s final roster and played as a substitute throughout the group stage. However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s poor form at the time put him on the bench. Eventually, in the round of 16 match against Switzerland, Hamus pushed Ronaldo aside and earned his first World Cup start.
His presence was huge. Hamus scored a hat trick against Switzerland. It was the first hat-trick by a player in his first World Cup start in 20 years since Miroslav Klose at the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. It took him 21 years to break the record.
Since then, interest in Hammers has skyrocketed. Manchester United were among the candidates, but it wasn’t clear that a deal was in the offing. Hammers’ release clause was the sticking point. Hammers is contracted to Benfica until the summer of 2026. Benfica wouldn’t want to let go of a young player with so much potential.
In addition, Hammers’ contract reportedly includes a €120 million buyout clause. However, PSG is believed to have negotiated with Benfica to settle the deal at a lower price of €80 million (KRW 152 billion).
Earlier in the day, Romano said, “PSG are close to signing Hammers. The agreement is very close. The final details are being finalized and should be completed this week. The transfer fee will be in the region of €80 million, including bonus options. The contract will run until 2028.”