12 signings, 13 starting players… so far. On Sunday 3 September in Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain presents itself with a deeply reconfigured workforce. Almost all of the unwanted people are gone and some of the stars have left. Paris owes this major upheaval to seven men who acted behind the scenes during the transfer window in a great power play and whose relations were not always good. But in the end, the results of the transfer period remain very satisfactory.
Luis Campos, successful catch
The Portuguese leader knew he was expected in the role after the first transfer window he himself considered wasted. After being hit by a family drama at the end of May, Luis Campos has had to find the resources to get back to work. This summer, he was finally able to carry out his mission, which consisted of separating from the stars with big salaries (Messi, Neymar, Ramos), renewing and “French” the workforce in order to give it a real identity.
“He was tough and convincing during this transfer window”, described a representative close to the Parisian club. He notably maintained a link with Milan Skriniar in the weeks leading up to his arrival and secured agreement for the arrival of Lucas Hernandez in March.
The sports consultant once again took advantage of his special relationship with Jorge Mendes to complete a good number of deals (Ramos, Ugarte, Asensio, N’dour, Lee, Barkola). And if he preferred to withdraw in the Mbappe file, Campos maintained contact with the striker when he appeared in the upper floor. Luis Campos is satisfied that he has kept his roadmap – only regrets the failure of the Marcus Thuram case – and realizes that his future is threatened. The transfer window is now closed, and his case could be a topic for discussions soon.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Dembele, Colo Mwani… and Mbappe
Among his various jobs as president of the European Clubs Association, BeIN Media Group or Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been able to develop a particularly comprehensive communications record that allows him to intervene in certain files. Last summer, for example, he led discussions with Oliver Mintzlaff for Nordi Mukele or with Steven Chang for Milan Skriniar in the last straight of the transfer window.
During this process, the participation of the Parisian president rose to its peak. If Campos left to maneuver in the first transfer window, he still stepped in to discuss and persuade Manuel Ugarte when Chelsea were pressing or leading negotiations with Bayern Munich for Lucas Hernandez.
But unlike last year, this time NAK launched three files. At the end of June, it was he who opened the way for Randall Kolo Mwani by meeting the agent and the player’s family, before making the necessary phone calls to finalize the file. And it is in this process that he maneuvers to persuade Xavi Simmons, who cannot be ruled out by a financial coup, and Ousmane Dembele to join Paris, when there was no priority for Luis Campos.
Above all, in the clash with Kylian Mbappe at the start of July, some will say he didn’t know how to maintain his hard line, others that he showed flexibility. In the end, however, he managed to maintain contact from start to finish and put an end, at least temporarily, to the situation that was blighting the club’s life.
Luis Enrique and the Three Criteria
The Spanish coach was appointed at the beginning of July and was immediately integrated into the Parisian club’s recruitment process. The former La Roja coach worked closely with his sporting director Luis Campos, with whom he became particularly close during the Asian tour in the absence of Nasser Al-Khelaifi, in order to build the team he wanted to articulate in a 4-3-3 formation. .
In the negotiations with the newcomers, there was often talk of how they could be integrated into Luis Enrique’s preferential tactical scheme. Energy, enthusiasm and generosity: these are the points the Parisian coach insisted on when validating the profile of the newcomers. The arrival of Skriniar and Hernandez particularly responds to this desire.
He was even involved in certain files, such as signing with Bradley Barkola, who called him up to outline his project. The Spaniard was also very firm when he told Marco Verratti that it was not in his plans this season.
Jorge Mendes, omnipresent
The super agent used all his influence to finish off more than half of the Parisian recruits this summer. Privately, the Portuguese says he has always been proud to make transfers to Paris Saint-Germain, both in the direction of departure and arrival. Directly or indirectly, no less than six players joined the capital through Cristiano Ronaldo’s former trusted man.
Jorge Mendes was particularly invested in signing Bradley Barkola from the OL. The dossier, which was close to his heart, was carried out almost from start to finish, and he maintained contact with John Textor and Paris Saint-Germain during these particularly complex negotiations.
And in Paris, Mendes knows he can also count on the support of President Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The two men have a relationship of trust for more than ten years. The downside to note is the failure of Bernardo Silva’s trajectory, however he is keen to continue his career with Paris Saint-Germain. His next file is important: Warren Zaire Emery’s extension.
Moussa Sissoko Beeline
The 39-year-old agent is based in London and has made a resounding return to the front of the stage at Paris Saint-Germain. Regarded as one of the most influential players in France for ten years, he served as a submariner to bring Paris his two most prominent signings of the summer: Ousmane Dembele and Randall Kolo-Mwani. His closeness to Qatar and the trust he has gained over the years from Nasser Al-Khelaifi has given him tremendous leverage to operate effectively. He and the Parisian president also initiated conversations with his clients.
He will have used his network and power of persuasion to allow access to the French internationals, and has shown that he can make solid decisions according to the timing of the negotiations. Even if that meant using drastic measures, as happened when RKM chose to boycott the Frankfurt training. Or when it was announced to Barcelona that PSG would lift the release clause in Dembele’s contract (€50m), when it was no longer valid from August 1. In terms of leaving, his closeness to Antero Henrique is no stranger to the departure of Abdo Diallo to Al-Arabi for 15 million euros.
In 2018, we remember he worked on signing Lassana Diarra at Paris Saint-Germain. Since then, he has emerged particularly in the capital by negotiating the exit of many promising young people from the training center (Yassin Adly, Abdoulaye Camara, Tanguy Coulibaly, Dan Axel Zagadou).
Antero Henrique, The Troublesome Shadow
The shadow of the Portuguese shadow hangs over the Paris Saint-Germain transfer window. The former sports director of the Parisian club, who was in charge of negotiations last summer, no longer holds an official title, which did not prevent him from being present in symbolic files, such as the departure file that had not yet been registered for Marco Verratti. Today, the sports director of the Qatari league, he is the one who put the Qatari-Arab club in contact with the Italian entourage and managed the exchanges with the various players. He put oil in the wheels to facilitate the exchanges.
The Portuguese also allowed himself to work alongside him, investigating some players, such as Ilie Wahi before his move to Lens, when his profile was not necessarily unanimous. “He has only one desire, which is to return to work in Paris Saint-Germain,” said a close friend of the Parisian club. If Henrique still maintains a strong internal backing to drive certain deals, his ubiquity has strained Luis Campos. The two men hate each other, do not get along and want to end this absurd coexistence that has already caused strong tensions.
Benny Zahavi, the record holder against his will
Its place on this list may seem somewhat exaggerated. But seven years apart, the person behind negotiations between Julian Nagelsmann and Paris Saint-Germain for the coaching position has added an honorary title to his Parisian record. After making the biggest transfer in the club’s history from the capital in 2017 (€222m) with the arrival of Neymar, this time Benny Zahavi was involved in the best selling, officially sending the Brazilian to Saudi Arabia for almost €90m. . Even if some sources evoke a well-inflated number.
In this case, he had little to do but negotiate his client’s astronomical salary and his father’s rewards. And before the interest of Al-Hilal, the clubs did not scramble to attend and include the flute and its newly recovered ankle. And after having lunch with Nasser Al-Khulaifi in early 2023, the Israeli agent officially learned that he would have to find another base for Neymar, who opened the door after the insults of the fans in front of his house in Bougival (Evelyn). ) on May 3.