Paris Saint-Germain have agreed a deal to sign Mauro Icardi on a season-long loan from Internazionale, with the French champions also snapping up the goalkeeper Keylor Navas from Real Madrid as Neymar’s hopes of sealing a return to Barcelona failed to come to fruition on transfer deadline day in Europe.
With Neymar having made clear his desire to return from PSG to Spain and reported interest from Real Madrid, all eyes were on Paris to see if a last-minute deal could be agreed after the Brazilian’s world record £198m transfer in the summer of 2017. But attempts to include Ivan Rakitic, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembélé as makeweights in a package that would have taken the 27-year-old back to the Camp Nou on an initial loan fell down after PSG failed to convince Dembélé to make the move.
A sure sign that nothing would materialise yesterday came when Neymar was pictured arriving in Miami to join his Brazil teammates for the friendly against Colombia this week.
Meanwhile Icardi was on his way to the French capital to sign a season-long loan deal that includes an option to make his transfer permanent next season. The Argentina striker has been frozen out by the new Inter coach, Antonio Conte, and had made no secret of his intention to move on after six years at San Siro. It is understood the deal contains an option for PSG to make the deal permanent next summer for €65m (£59m), with Inter confirming Icardi has also signed a two-year contract extension.
“I am going to give my heart and soul to help my new team go as far as possible in all the competitions,” said Icardi. “PSG has become a stronghold in world football … I thank PSG for their confidence in me.”
Having allowed Gianluigi Buffon to return to Juventus in the summer, PSG have also moved to sign the triple-Champions League winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas for an undisclosed fee with the France international Alphonse Areola moving in the other direction to provide cover for Thibaut Courtois.
“I’m really excited to sign for Paris Saint-Germain,” Navas said. “After my experience in Spain I’m coming to France with high hopes.”