It was hard not to think, as Brazil's Lucas Moura coolly slotted his stoppage-time penalty kick against France past Hugo Lloris in Porto Alegre last Saturday, that the sight of him running off to celebrate a goal is one that Paris Saint-Germain have not yet grown accustomed to. Six months into his stay in the French capital, and the 20-year-old Brazilian sensation has a no-goal against PSG's bitter rivals Marseille and a handful of assists to show for his early foray in Ligue 1. The samba star has hardly set the world alight since arriving from South American giants Sao Paulo for a whopping 45 million euros in January.
"Marseille are a big club, their interest makes me happy," said Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Clement Chantome in an interview with France Football earlier in the week. His words will have had a chilling effect on the French champions' hardcore support base, as there are few sentences more likely to strike fear into the hearts of PSG fans than hearing one of their own players saying that about their loathed rivals OM. Not least one who has come through the youth academy, after joining as a 13-year-old.
Shortly after being rejected by Anzhi Makhachkala boss Guus Hiddink, who elected to sign an extended contract in Russia, Paris Saint-Germain turned their attentions to a new candidate to replace wantaway coach Carlo Ancelotti. Late on Tuesday night a story surfaced in the Daily Mail that the side from the French capital had made initial contact with Tottenham Hotspur's Andre Villas-Boas in London, those claims were quickly backed up by a number of English, and then Italian, journalists. With PSG now apparently chasing the former Porto and Chelsea man, he becomes the ninth candidate that the French champions are thought to have considered this summer after Hiddink, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Walter Mazzarri, Rafael Benitez, Manuel Pellegrini, Fabio Capello and Roberto Mancini.
With the French transfer window now open, activity outside of a few big deals across Europe and most notably in the Principality of Monaco has been rather muted. It seems that many clubs on the continent are waiting for something big to happen to kick the transfer window into life. That key event may well be the protracted move of Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid. In the offing since the capital club sealed their first title in 19 years last month, the Italian's future has become as saga for both sides involved in the potential deal, as well as the man himself.
The decision by treble-winning Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes to take a break from football means he has firmly closed the door on Real Madrid. The German's confirmation of his desire to wait before potentially taking on another coaching role has a significant knock-on effect on Paris Saint-Germain. With the club and current coach Carlo Ancelotti in limbo following the Italian's request to leave after securing PSG's first Ligue 1 title in 19 years, Heynckes has made the two-time Champions League winner's departure more likely.
After nine years in the French capital, Paris Saint-Germain will bid farewell to their longest-serving player, Sylvain Armand, after it was announced on Monday that the 32-year-old is to join Philippe Montanier's Rennes. The former Nantes man is one of the respected elder statesmen of the current side, and one of a limited few whose commitment to the Rouge-et-Bleu cause stretched over the past decade. After finally landing a second Ligue 1 title of his career this past season, to add to his first with Les Canaris in 2001, Armand will take his leave of the Parc des Princes.
With Monaco dominating the headlines in French football since the end of the domestic season, Paris Saint-Germain have taken a back seat through their lack of transfer activity so far. While the Principality outfit have been splashing their cash on the likes of Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez, the side from the capital have been focused on resolving their issues with want away coach Carlo Ancelotti, who is wanted by Real Madrid. So far, the closest PSG look to be towards making a signing is that of Lille left-back Lucas Digne.
Following the French Football League's (LFP) disciplinary hearing into Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo's barge into referee Alexandre Castro in May, the Brazilian was hit by a nine-month ban and PSG a suspended three-point penalty in Ligue 1 on Thursday. The 43-year-old shoulder-charged the official after the capital club's 1-1 draw with Valenciennes earlier this month having seen captain Thiago Silva sent off for making contact with Castro to protest a decision in the first half.
Paris Saint-Germain's 2012/2013 season came to end with a 3-1 win over Lorient, and with a first title in 19 years finally sewn up, the French capital club can reflect on a successful campaign. This time last year, you'd have been hard pushed to find many people who could have predicted how this term would pan out. But after the disappointment of seeing Montpellier claim last season's Ligue 1 title, the club's ambitious project has really come to fruition in the past 12 months. It has been an up and down campaign for PSG, with more ups than downs, but despite a relatively disappointing domestic trophy showing, the team's progress in Le Championnat and the Champions League has been impressive.
Paris Saint-Germain signed off in style for 2012-13 with a 3-1 win at Lorient on Sunday. As Ligue 1 drew to a close the capital club travelled to Brittany -- as they did on the final day of last season -- but this time with the title already sewn up and no final-day drama in store. Or so everyone thought. With no David Beckham to bid farewell -- although he was in the stands -- there was an emotional farewell for one of the real good guys of French football, Ludovic Giuly. Now with Lorient after a three-year spell with PSG, Giuly bows out at 36, and Les Parisiens’ goalkeeper Ronan Le Crom did too at 38 in his birthplace.
Although the current Ligue 1 campaign has not even finished yet, with a final round of matches to play on Sunday, preparations for next season are already underway at a host of top-flight clubs. None have hit the headlines so far like Monaco though. The recently-promoted side, returning to Le Championnat after a two-year absence, have already made a splash in this summer's transfer market with a sensational double-swoop for Porto talents Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez. - Monaco sign Moutinho, Rodriguez Having Monaco back in Ligue 1 is a big boost for French football, though the French Football Federation and the Professional Football League (LFP) are doing their best to mute their impact.
When Paris Saint-Germain step out onto the synthetic turf at the Stade du Moustoir on Sunday night to face Lorient, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will need just one goal to equal Jean-Pierre Papin's 30-goal haul in 1989-90. Recently crowned Ligue 1 player of the year, the Swede's impact regardless of whether he equals or breaks the 23-year-old record has been phenomenal this season. His first in France, he has been a resounding success despite some brief periods of inconsistency. A deserved winner at the recent National Union of Professional Footballers awards ceremony, it is fair to say that without the towering striker's incredible 29 goals and seven assists in the league alone -- 34 goals, 13 assists in 44 games if you include all competitions -- he pretty much single-handedly led the capital club to a first Ligue 1 title in 19 years.