The regular season may be over, but that doesn’t stop the talking points arriving and Paris St Germain sporting director Leonardo has provided one by taking a swipe at German clubs for their poaching of young French talent.
Talking to le Parisien, the Brazilian singled out the Bundesliga’s top three for particular scorn. “German clubs, especially Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, are dredging more and more of our young players from France,” he said. “They are a danger to youth academies in France and that is a big problem.
“Young talents get their heads turned. They call parents, friends, family members or the player himself. At the age of 15 or 16, the young talents get their heads turned. Maybe the rules should be changed to protect the French clubs” the sporting director added.
The comments come after Bayern signed 18-year-old defender Tanguy Nianzou on a free transfer after the player opted not to sign a new contract in the French capital. There is also current speculation that the Bavarians are tracking 17-year-old midfielder Adil Aouchiche and 18-year-old defender El Chadaille Bitshiabu.
Earlier this week, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge claimed that Bayern’s relationship with PSG was fine saying. “Our relations with PSG are very good. I very much appreciate my counterpart Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. Our contacts with Leonardo are also in good shape.
“Regarding the Tanguy Kouassi case, he is a very interesting player who has received several lucrative proposals, in particular from RB Leipzig. From what we understand, he did not want to extend his adventure at Paris-Saint Germain and when such a talent plans his career abroad, it is logical that a club like Bayern should share his interest.”
In recent years, the Parisien club have lost Dan-Axel Zagadou to Borussia Dortmund, while RB Leipzig have snapped up Christopher Nkunku, Jean-Kevin Augustin (both PSG), Ibrahima Konaté and Nordi Mukiele from French clubs.
While you can understand the frustration of Leonardo on behalf of the French youth academies, it is sadly part of modern football where the equivalent of the food chain is in existence. France feeds Germany, which in turn feeds the Premier League and La Liga. The Bundesliga in recent seasons has lost Christian Pulisic, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele, and Timo Werner amongst others.