PSG transfer news round-up: Hugo Ekitike opens the game alongside Lionel Messi; Parisians eye Marcus Thuram and more

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) conceded their second defeat of the season against Rennes in Ligue 1 at Roazhon Park on Sunday (15 January). A Hamari Traore goal in the second half helped the hosts to a memorable 1-0 win.

Meanwhile, Hugo Ekitike has opted to play alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar. Elsewhere, the Parisians are considering a change for Marcus Thuram. With that in mind, here’s a look at the key PSG transfer stories from January 16, 2023:

Hugo Ekitike opens the game with Lionel Messi

Hugo Ekitike has said he’s learning the tricks of the trade from Lionel Messi and Neymar in training.

The French youngster joined PSG on loan from Reims last summer and has started to impress. The Parisians have an option to buy him permanently at the end of the season for €28.5m plus €6.5m in bonuses.

Ekitike has recently shown signs of a budding relationship with Messi on the pitch. The Argentine continues to be at the peak of his powers, fresh off a triumphant run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has continued to impress with the Parisians this season, recording 13 goals and 14 assists in 20 games in all competitions.

World champion Lionel Messi trains with PSG.

After Sunday’s game, as reported by PSG Talk, Ekitike said he remains hungry to score goals.

“These are players I watch a lot in training; you must follow them; You see things that others don’t see. I’m beginning to find my way around little by little. I can’t be satisfied after today’s game; I had nothing to eat. I’m going back to work, I want to score more goals and I have to keep going like this,” said Ekitike.

The 20-year-old has made 17 appearances for the Ligue 1 champions in all competitions this season, scoring four goals and providing two assists.

PSG eye Marcus Thuram

Marcus Thuram (right) is wanted in the Parc des Princes.
Marcus Thuram (right) is wanted in the Parc des Princes.

PSG are interested in Marcus Thuram, according to Telefoot via PSG Talk. Club sporting director Luis Campos is putting together summer plans to replace Pablo Sarabia, who is on his way to Wolverhampton Wanderers this month.

Thuram is seen as the perfect candidate to fill in the Spaniard’s footsteps.

The French striker has impressed for Borussia Mönchengladbach this season and also caused a stir at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, his contract expires at the end of the season, but the 25-year-old is reluctant to extend his stay. Inter Milan, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are already planning to secure Thuram’s signing and the Parisians have now joined the fray.

The player has played alongside Kylian Mbappe for Les Bleus so the 24-year-old could try to persuade Thuram to come to Paris. Thuram has made 17 appearances for the Bundesliga side in all competitions this season, scoring 13 goals and providing four assists.

Christophe Galtier is the least satisfied with his team’s performance

Least satisfied is Christophe Galtier with PSG’s performance against Rennes on Sunday.

The Parisians were second best that night, conceding their second defeat in the last three league games of the season. The French giants have been out of their element lately, opening the title race wide open.

Christophe Galtier to @PVSportFR : “Right now there is a lack of verticality in our game. The World Cup broke our momentum and our group was completely scattered, now we must work together to find our principles with more verticality.” 🇫🇷🗣️

Following the loss, as quoted by PSG Talk, Galtier warned his team they must regroup and pull themselves together quickly.

“I’m not going to talk about concern, but there has to be an awareness. Of course we can find a thousand excuses, a thousand reasons, but the World Cup is over. Even though we’ve been scattered and scattered for eight weeks, in this group we have to find cohesion, rhythm, intensity,” Galtier said.

He added:

“We have ten days to work on verticality, intensity and technical ability. And it is very important that we find that.”

The Ligue 1 champions meet Riyadh ST XI in a friendly later this week.

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