PSG give up Aubameyang pursuit, eye Donnarumma, Mbappe – source
PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain have dropped their interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang because sporting director Antero Henrique does not believe the Gabon international represents good value for money, a source close to the Ligue 1 giants has told ESPN FC.
ESPN FC reported last month that while a deal for the 27-year-old was on the verge of completion, Henrique would have the final say once confirmed in his new role.
The Portuguese transfer guru is now in place at Parc des Princes and the source says Henrique viewed the previously negotiated deal for Aubameyang — with a transfer fee as much as €85 million and an annual salary of at least €10 million — as excessive.
Consequently, PSG have abandoned their interest in the Bundesliga’s top scorer and instead are holding out hope they can still persuade coach Unai Emery’s preferred target, Alexis Sanchez, to join from Arsenal if the Chile international leaves the Gunners this summer.
According to the source, since Henrique has arrived in Paris, the club’s focus has switched to retaining its current young starlets — such as Marco Verratti, Marquinhos and Adrien Rabiot — and sorting out the futures of experienced figures, like retired left-back Maxwell and veteran midfielder Thiago Motta.
The former Brazil international is expected to take up a staff role shortly, possibly as Henrique’s assistant or a bridge between the youth academy and senior side, while Motta is reported to have agreed a one-year contract extension as a player before joining his ex-teammate as a member of staff — exclusively on the coaching side.
PSG are intent on getting their house in order first before making moves in the transfer market, however the source did reveal Henrique is seriously interested in AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe.
Although it will likely prove very difficult to land both sought after players this summer, particularly the France international, the former FC Porto man is believed to have already started his pursuit of the Azzurri starlet.
According to the source, after Henrique’s meetings in Milan earlier this week with Verratti’s agent Donato Di Campli and Motta’s representative Alessandro Canovi, he also met AC Milan’s top brass to discuss Donnarumma and a PSG player who is thought to be unwanted midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Henrique also met with Inter Milan representatives to discuss a number of players, including Krychowiak, Angel Di Maria, Lucas Moura, Ivan Perisic and Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.