PARIS: “The players that I want, I’ll have them,” Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al Khelaifi insisted yesterday, telling media that UEFA’s financial fair play sanctions would not effect his team next season.
UEFA on Friday fined PSG $82m and capped their Champions League squad to 21 for falling foul of financial fair play rules.
The French Ligue 1 champions have benefitted from a massive cash investment in top-drawer players after their takeover by Qatar Sports Investments in late 2012.
But Qatari sports businessman Al Khelaifi insisted that the sanctions by European football’s governing body would have little impact next season.
“It does not change anything in the project, the motivation of the club, the players,” he said in an interview yesterday.
“We respect, we accept this decision. But nothing and no-one will stop us, we always dream bigger.”
Concerning the limit on spending for new players, he added: “To be clear -- the players I want, I’ll have them.”
The 43-year-old said however that the groundwork had already been laid and there would be no big-name departures.
Although they have options to buy several players, they could limit it to one, he said.
“We had a five-year plan when we bought the club, which will not change. We have great players, some among the best in the world, I don’t know if we still need to buy, and it’s not because of financial fair play.
“We have already invested a lot these last three years, we will continue, but when we need to,” he said.
“Paris deserves a great club, for me it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it deserves a big club with big sponsors. And it’s not very difficult, I’m not worried to see revenues grow. I’m confident about it.”
But he brushed aside speculation around a move for Juventus’ France international midfielder Paul Pogba, 21.
“Pogba is an excellent player, he’s the future of the France team. But he’s not the profile that we’re looking for in Paris.”
Their Champions League quarter-final finish was their only disappointment of the season, he said.
“I’m very satisfied, we had three trophies (Ligue 1, League Cup, Champions Trophy). I’m happy with results, we played a better style of football this season and we nearly made the Champions League semi-finals.
“I’m not going to lay the blame on anyone. We don’t have Chelsea’s experience, some of their players have played Champions League for the past ten years, for us it’s true it was the first time.
“Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) makes the difference when he is there, he has the confidence, experience on his side.”
“But we’ll be stronger next season, more motivated. We have to look ahead, towards the future, not back.”
Al-Khelaifi praised coach Laurent Blanc’s first season at the helm, giving his backing to the former France defender.
“I like what he’s doing, he does great work, he’s a professional. And contrary to what certain media have reported I haven’t talked with other coaches this season.” AFP