Official: PSG beat Chelsea to sign Leandro Paredes

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - AUGUST 19: Leandro Paredes of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg celebrates his goal during the Russian Premier League match between FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and FC Ural Ekaterinburg at Saint Petersburg Stadium on August 19, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain have pulled off a shock transfer coup by beating Chelsea to Leandro Paredes’ signature.

The Blues had hoped to sign Paredes in this month’s transfer window following Cesc Fabregas’ departure for AS Monaco.

But in light of Marco Verratti and Lassana Diarra’s injuries along with Adrien Rabiot’s suspension from PSG, manager Thomas Tuchel publicly urged the club to get a move on with signing new players over the weekend.

And now the Ligue 1 champions have delivered by signing Zenit star Paredes on a four-and-a-half-year deal at the Parc des Princes for a reported fee of €45m.

“I’m very proud to be joining Paris Saint-Germain,” Paredes told the club website.

“After my previous experiences in Italy and Russia, I now have this fantastic opportunity, not only to discover a new league, but above all one to wear one the most prestigious club jerseys in the world.

“I’d like to thank the chairman and the coach for the confidence they have shown in me by signing me.

“We all know the extraordinary sporting dimension of Paris Saint-Germain, its players and staff.

“I share the same high ambitions and I will do everything I can to give my club what it expects of me as a midfielder. I also look forward to the passionate atmosphere of the Parc des Princes, as I grew up with football fever in Argentina.”

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi added: “Leandro brings with him the traditional strengths of Argentinian football – a fighting spirit and excellent technical skills.

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“He will bring a lot to our midfield and I am sure he will fit quickly into our coach’s well-organised and ambitious team.

“Leandro’s arrival will keep the momentum, both on the pitch and among our supporters, ahead of the major events coming up. Exciting times lie ahead.”

The Argentina international could make his PSG debut away to Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The French giants also had a bid for Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye rejected earlier this week.