Paris Saint-Germain loanee Goncalo Guedes remains hopeful of a return to the Ligue 1 club after his spell with Valencia.
The Portugal international joined Valencia on a season-long loan in the summer and has impressed with three goals and five assists from seven starts in La Liga, helping Marcelino’s men to second place.
The 20-year-old has stood out during Valencia’s start to the season and has been touted as a potential future Ballon d’Or winner if his recent form continues.
Despite having been sent to Spain because of too much competition for a place in Unai Emery’s starting XI at PSG and uncertainty over his future there, Guedes does not see his time in Paris being over just yet.
“I want to work as well as possible and earn playing time,” he told Marca. “I would like to return to Paris to fight for a place with the best players in the world. However, I am happy here — I do not know what will happen.”
Guedes only moved to PSG from Benfica in January and struggled to force his way into Emery’s starting XI over the second half of last season, hardly getting any chances to impress his coach.
With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe now at the club, PSG have some of “the best players in the world,” according to Guedes.
“I could have stayed but I was not sure I was going to get playing time,” he added. “At 20, I need to play — my only thought was of playing.
“It would have been good to stay with the best players in the world. But the most important thing was to play. I chose Valencia and it was the right decision.”
Based on his current form and Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura’s questionable futures in Paris, Emery and sporting director Antero Henrique could be planning to bring Guedes back to PSG next summer.
If that is the case, he is likely to be better placed to reintegrate with the squad after settling well with Valencia and rediscovering some confidence.
“It is different here,” Guedes said. “When I arrived in Paris, I did not know French. I spoke with the Brazilians, and with Edinson [Cavani] and Angel.
“When I arrived here, I understood everyone. I can be closer to my teammates as we have a very good friendship. We speak and play together — it is a very united group.”
If PSG struggle to move on players like Di Maria, Pastore and Lucas in January or next summer, Guedes could be a source of funds to help the club comply with UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Manchester United have all been linked with the attacker.
“I was asked recently about interest from Real or Atletico but I do not know,” Guedes said. “It is always good when big clubs are interested in you and follow your work.
“Teams like Real, who have won two consecutive Champions Leagues, but also teams like Atletico, who are always around the top of the table. It is something important, for sure.”
Guedes is currently with the Portugal squad for friendlies against Saudi Arabia and United States before a return to domestic action away at Espanyol in just under a fortnight with Valencia.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.