Clubs, French Ligue 1, Javier Pastore, Lucas Moura, Paris Saint-Germain, Story, Transfers

PSG head coach Unai Emery wants his side to remain united after leaving out Edinson Cavani for their Coupe de France win over Rennes.
ESPN FC’s PSG correspondent Jonathan Johnson explains how the club will handle Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore returning late from winter break.

PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas Moura and Javier Pastore have attracted the interest of clubs such as Manchester United and Inter Milan so far in January but the French capital outfit are not keen to loan the South American pair, a source close to the Ligue 1 leaders has told ESPN FC.

The Brazilian, who has been out of favour under Unai Emery since the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last summer, has been told to find a new club. However, out of all of the sides to have shown interest, United are the only one he has serious interest in.

Unfortunately for Lucas, the source explained PSG are more interested in permanently selling the 25-year-old, and Jose Mourinho’s men — along with Nantes and Real Betis — have only made firm loan offers.

The former Sao Paulo man rejected Betis and is not keen on Nantes either, even if Les Parisiens would consider their player joining Les Canaris on a temporary basis more than United because they know that both clubs do not possess the same financial means.

The source indicated that fellow Ligue 1 sides Bordeaux and Nice have also shown interest in Lucas, but PSG expect finances to be a problem with any fellow Championnat sides — despite the fact that Les Aiglons recently removed Wesley Sneijder from their wage bill.

Lucas Moura has attracted interest from Manchester United.

If United make a permanent offer for Lucas, PSG will play ball. However, Mourinho’s men do not have much game time to base their opinions on.

Pastore, who is now back in Paris and training alone after his late return from South America, is the subject of another loan offer, this time from Inter.

The Italian giants have already admitted that they cannot afford a permanent deal this month. And according to the source, like with Lucas, PSG would prefer a definitive sale of the Argentina international.

PSG are reluctant to lose a more useful fringe figure than the Brazilian without at least filling a position of need.

The source also admitted that it is unknown at this time if Inter’s interest has influenced Pastore’s recent behaviour and late return from the winter break.

A potential swap deal involving Joao Mario and Pastore could raise its head once again over the next few weeks, but Inter have already made it clear that they do not want to sell the Portugal international, and the French giants would prefer for Lassana Diarra to be Thiago Motta’s backup.

The Italian veteran picked up an injury away at Rennes last Sunday and even though he is not expected to miss more than one week of action as a precaution, the source indicated that it has been enough to get Emery really pushing for greater depth in defensive midfield.

Elsewhere, PSG sporting director Antero Henrique is still pushing hard to move Hatem Ben Arfa this month.

The source indicated that there is optimism that if Riyad Mahrez does leave Leicester City in the coming weeks that Claude Puel will come calling for the man who was so productive for him when they teamed up in Nice.

Another situation PSG are keeping an eye on, per the source, is that of Bordeaux’s Malcom.

The Brazilian is a future target for PSG but like Wendel, who is now a Sporting player, could be kept out of Les Parisiens‘ clutches by UEFA’s financial fair play limits.

PSG are interested in Malcom and hope that he will still be a Bordeaux player this summer but know that he is attracting plenty of interest, notably from Manchester United, and that they would be unable to compete with any offer made this month.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.

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