Jul 26, 2014, 7:27 PM EDT
There various reasons to shake your head at this one, but increasingly, what was once an inexplicable rumor looks likely to come to fruition. At this point, Ángel Di María’s link to Paris Saint-Germain is so well establish, smoke-and-fire logic has taken over, and given PSG is one of the few clubs in the world that could afford such a talented player, the connection makes sense. If Di María is going to move, PSG may be the only team will to pay the $80-87 million it takes to get him from Real Madrid.
Why he may moving from the European champions at all is a mystery to some, but given the star culture that helps define Florentino Pérez’s club, it’s no surprise Di María, an established contributor, may implicitly give way for James Rodríguez, one of the brightest stars at this summer’s World Cup. Never mind the Argentine was the best player in May’s Champions League final. Never mind that performance is consistent with the rest of Di María’s career. With El Real’s midfield increasingly crammed, cashing in on Di María makes sense, on some perverse, short-sighted level.
But if AS’s report (which is echoed by others) comes to true, Di María’s destination should also be a point of confusion. While Paris Saint-Germain is one of the richest clubs in the world, it’s also one of two clubs to receive UEFA’s heaviest Financial Fair Play sanctions to date. Hit with a huge fine and forced to deal with a reduced Champions League squad, PSG is already experiencing the repercussions of its financial neglect.
Part of those consequences could include losing Edinson Cavani, who proved slightly redundant to Zlatan Ibrahimovic last year. The Uruguayan, who has yet to join the club after the World Cup, may have to make way if Di María’s acquired, with PSG unable to carry a higher wage bill into this year’s Champions League. Having already brought David Luiz over from Chelsea, PSG’s need to create some more wiggle room.
It’s all part of the insanity that is the European transfer market, a place that’s become little more than a shell game at its highest levels. Want James Rodríguez? Well, what are you going to do with Ángel Di María? Find a home for him? Too bad they need to get rid of Edinson Cavani.
For long-time fans of European soccer, it’s a new, cumbersome level of complexity. For people who follow American sports, it’s reminiscent of life with a salary cap.
Despite that quirk, the underlying questions remain the same: Why is Real Madrid selling Di María; how can PSG fit him in; and do the Parisians have any intention of changing their way now that Financial Fair Play has become an issue? If all those questions get answered, PSG will end up with one of the best midfielders in the world.
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