Soccer. PSG formalizes its first recruit

Paris SG kicked off their summer transfer window on Thursday by signing the first signing of their new era, young Portuguese midfielder Vitinha, pending the end of the coaching waltz that should see Christophe Galtier replacing Mauricio Pochettino.

More than a month after the overwhelming announcement of Kylian Mbappé’s extension until 2025, the starting point for a new side of the Qatari version of PSG, the capital club finally have reinforcements for their professional group.

At 22, promising midfielder Vitinha signed for five seasons with FC Porto, where his technical qualities and vision of the game opened the doors to the Portuguese side (3 selections). The amount of the fee, which PSG has not announced, is estimated by the specialist press at 40 million euros.

Vitinha, trained at FC Porto and also on loan from Wolverhampton in the 2020-21 season, has four domestic titles with Porto (two leagues and two cups). He also won the Youth League, the equivalent of the Champions League among young people, in 2019 and reached the final of Euro Espoirs with Portugal U21 in 2021.

“Bem-vindo” (Welcome), PSG wrote in a message on Twitter on Thursday evening, accompanied by a clip in which the number “2027” appears, the horizon of his newly signed contract.

Vitinha, set to support Italian Marco Verratti in midfield, could soon be followed by his compatriot Renato Sanches (Lille) or even Ivorian Seko Fofana, author of a good season with RC Lens in the same position, according to the specialized press.

Less “bling bling”

The Portuguese, who passed his medical on Wednesday, will also become the first recruit of new sports agent Luis Campos, also Portuguese and appointed on June 10 to replace Brazilian sporting director Leonardo, whose dismissal was recorded at the end of May, according to protocol of the Ultimate day of Ligue 1, was never officially announced.

This signing of a young player to represent PSG’s future is part of the club’s new sporting policy that aims to be less ‘bling-bling’ as promised by President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. However, the latter still hasn’t officially confirmed Christophe Galtier as future coach, an announcement that has been put on hold by negotiations with Mauricio Pochettino to find a financial agreement allowing for the departure of the Argentine coach and his staff.

When asked by AFP about the status of these talks, PSG declined to respond on Thursday. Le Parisien daily and RMC Sport media both announce that an agreement has been reached with the Argentine, as does L’Equipe newspaper, which mentions ‘a total of around €10m for the coach and his staff’. According to the sports press, Christophe Galtier already visited the Camp des Loges, the PSG training center, on Thursday.

Will the ex-Nice technician be hired ahead of the resumption of training for the French champions (apart from internationals), which is set for Monday 4th July? Meanwhile, PSG and OGC Nice have reached an agreement on the amount of the check paid to the Riviera club, estimated at €4-5m, according to a source familiar with the matter, to buy back the last two years of the coach’s contract with Lille crowned Champion of France 2021.

With Mbappé, Vitinha and soon Galtier, PSG have definitely started their summer transfer window, although more signings like defender Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan) or striker Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo) are expected.

But it will also need to downsize the workforce, an operation rarely successful in recent years by the Parisian club, which is struggling to persuade its unwanted players to give up their comfortable salary in France and saw that only his young midfielder Xavi Simons ( PSV ) and his goalkeeper Alphonse Aréola (West Ham) left this summer… According to the press, superstar Neymar is one of the possible departures. But the resulting length of his engagement in Paris, where he receives a large salary, could cool his courtiers.

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