Frenchman Blaise Matuidi is the name on the lips of most Juventini to fill the huge shoes left vacant by his countryman Paul Pogba, who left the club for Manchester United. New reports in Italy suggest the 29-year-old has made his intentions clear and handed in a transfer request to the Parisian outfit.
Sportitalia pundit Alfredo Pedulla reported yesterday that Matuidi has asked PSG to allow him to leave after spending five long years in the French capital (via Calciomercato). On the other hand, Sky Italia claims that there is yet to be a definitive decision taken, as the player’s representatives will meet the club soon to discuss their client’s role in the squad and evaluate future possibilities (via Di Marzio).
The recent arrival of Polish international Krychowiak from Sevilla, along with the change in managerial regime, could mean that Matuidi could be relegated to a bench role in PSG. This is something the player is not ready to accept, according to Di Marzio. This is probably the reason why the player is pushing for a move away from the club.
New manager Unai Emery, who won back to back Europa Leagues with Sevilla, had made it clear that Matuidi has a considerably big part in his plans this summer.
“I want the best players with me, with the squad and with PSG. Matuidi is one of them,” Emery said at a news conference on the eve of PSG’s Ligue 1 season-opening clash at Bastia.
“He’s a good player, he’s part of the identity of the club. He’s one of the leaders and capable of being captain. My opinion is clear, I want him to stay.” (via ESPNFC)
Between London and Turin
However Emery’s words do not mean that Matuidi will be a regular starter at the club. PSG depth in midfield has been questioned over and over again with the recurring injuries of midfield talisman Marco Verratti. Emery could look to deploy him in a more holding role or as a vice-Verratti.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal and Juventus are contesting for his signature. Arsenal are looking to add more quality in the midfield despite signing Xhaka from Germany. Juventus are looking to replace their talisman Pogba by getting a similar box to box midfielder with quality and top level experience. The Frenchman might have difficulties becoming a regular starter at Juventus ahead of Marchisio, Khedira and Pjanic, but Marchisio is out until October and Khedira is known to be quite injury prone.