PSG Transfer News Roundup: Hugo Ekitike opens up on playing alongside Lionel Messi; Parisians eyeing Marcus Thuram, and more

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

Meanwhile, Hugo Ekitike has opened up on playing alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar. Elsewhere, the Parisians are eyeing a move for Marcus Thuram. On that note, here’s a look at the key PSG transfer stories as on January 16, 2023:

Hugo Ekitike opens up on playing alongside Lionel Messi

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

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

Ekitike has shown signs of a budding relationship with Messi on the pitch recently. The Argentinean continues to be at the peak of his powers and is fresh from a triumphant run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has also been impressive with the Parisians this season, registering 13 goals and 14 assists in 20 games across competitions.

Speaking after the game on Sunday, as relayed by PSG Talk, Ekitike said that he remains hungry to score goals.

“These are players I watch a lot in training; you have to follow them; they see things that others don’t see. I’m starting to find my bearings little by little. After the match today, I can’t be satisfied; I didn’t have anything to eat. I’m going back to work, I want to score more, and I have to continue like this,” said Ekitike.

The 20-year-old has appeared 17 times across competitions for the Ligue 1 champions this season, scoring four goals and registering two assists.

PSG eyeing Marcus Thuram

Marcus Thuram (right) is wanted at the Parc des Princes.
Marcus Thuram (right) is wanted at 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 has been earmarked as the perfect candidate to fill the boots of the Spaniard.

The French forward has been impressive for Borussia Monchengladbach this season and also caught the eye 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 the signature of Thuram, and the Parisians have now joined the fray.

The player has played alongside Kylian Mbappe for Les Bleus, so the 24-year-old could attempt to persuade Thuram to arrive in Paris. Thuram has appeared 17 times across competitions for the Bundesliga side this season, amassing 13 goals and four assists.

Christophe Galtier least pleased with his team’s performance

Christophe Galtier is least pleased with PSG’s performance against Rennes on Sunday.

The Parisians were second-best on the night and endured their second defeat in the last three league games this season. The French giants have not been in their element recently and have blown the title race wide open.

Christophe Galtier to @PVSportFR : “At the moment, we have an absence of verticality in our game. The World Cup broke our momentum and our group was completely dispersed, now we have to work collectively to find our principles with more verticality.” 🇫🇷🗣️

Speaking after the defeat, as cited by PSG Talk, Galtier warned his team that they must quickly regroup and get their act together.

“I’m not going to talk about concern, but there must be an awareness. We can obviously find a thousand excuses, a thousand reasons, but the World Cup is over. Even if we were scattered and dispersed for eight weeks, we must find cohesion in this group, rhythm, intensity,” said Galtier.

He added:

“We will have ten days to work on verticality, intensity and technical skills. And it’s very important that we find that.”

The Ligue 1 champions will next face Riyadh ST XI later this week in a friendly.

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