Blanc: 'Some changes'
Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc has promised 'between two and four' new arrivals at the Ligue 1 champions over the summer, with Chelsea's Eden Hazard at the top of the capital club's wish-list.
While his star-studded side ended the season with three trophies - the Trophée des Champions, the Coupe de la Ligue and a second-straight Ligue 1 crown - Blanc is not about to rest on any collective laurels and is already looking ahead to the new season.
"I think we can improve our play by being more consistent. We're looking to win the Champions League as soon as possible," the PSG boss, who last week put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension, told Le Parisien. "There will be some changes, but not an overhaul. There will be between two and four recruits."
Top of the list of targets is Chelsea's former Lille Belgium international Eden Hazard, of whom Blanc is an unabashed fan.
"He's a player who gets around defenders. You can talk for hours about everything - your formation, individual qualities, collective ones," said the PSG boss. "But a player who can get around three or four defenders at any moment in a match, that's something else. You never know what to expect from players like him and that destabilises the opposition."
However, Blanc wasn't giving too much away in terms of how PSG will proceed in the summer transfer window, especially considering how reluctant Chelsea would be to allow the English Premier League's Young Player of the Year to leave.
"I can like a player while knowing full well that I won't have him," Blanc tempered. "Do we have a plan B? Of course, and a plan C. We'll target the areas where we want to recruit and propose three solutions, even though obviously plan A would be the ideal one. I give the names and then there are people here to take care of the negotiations. I've never pretended to want to be involved in transfers; I just want to have my say in the matter."
Things could get tricky for Paris following recently handed down sanctions under UEFA's financial fair play rules, and the back-to-back French champions will have to streamline their squad before bringing in any new names.
"At the moment, everyone here is happy, but that could change," Blanc admitted. "[Jérémy] Ménez will leave. Alex is also at the end of his contract, but his case is a bit complicated and his leaving is a possibility. But there might be some movement with players still under contract as well. We'll do our best to understand their intentions so we can act accordingly as soon as possible."
The Cavani question
Here Blanc may well have had Edinson Cavani in mind, the Uruguay star being heavily courted by Manchester United after making public his discontent with being played on the right-hand side of attack in Blanc's favoured 4-3-3 formation.
"We talked about it several times, and I can guarantee that he never looked me in the eye and asked me to change things. We found a system in which he functioned very well for six or seven months," said Blanc, keen to hang onto France's most expensive-ever player, who is under contract until 2018. "But then he got worn out, and then injured. Not in his best form physically, he struggled to accept a role in which he was so accomplished for the first six months of the season. Is it a good thing to change a player's positioning and perhaps compromise the team as a whole? We'll see."