He was once a target for Sir Alex Ferguson when he was just 16, but now Philippe Mexes could be returning to France after 12 years in Italy.
There are defensive re-shuffles currently going on in Paris. Reports in Italy and France are pointing towards AC Milan centre-back Philippe Mexes returning to Ligue 1 with champions Paris Saint-Germain. The former Manchester United target would be a surprise signing for the Parisians, and would certainly mean an end to Marquinhos time in the French capital.
Mexes is famously the one that got away from Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United, but looking at his career trajectory, perhaps it was a lucky escape, as Mexes career hasn’t exactly hit the heights that was expected when Ferguson looked at him as a 16-year-old prodigy.
The defender was playing at Auxerre when Ferguson invited him over to England, Mexes returned to France with a United shirt with his name on the back. He was too young for a move abroad and actually stayed at Auxerre until 2002 playing 171 games for the club. He moved to Italian side AS Roma when he was 22 years old, and has been playing in Serie A for the last 12 years.
A return to France would be a surprise move from the former French international, although something that Mexes himself would be keen on, it is strange to understand what he would bring to the Parisian club.
His time at AC Milan has been mostly a disappointment, plagued by injuries and bad form. However, the 32-year-old is still one of the highest earning players in Serie A, and although playing in France would be a nice end to his career, only PSG could afford his salary at the moment.
Brazilian international Alex, is set to join AC Milan on a free this summer, with Mexes his replacement, although the Frenchman is older, and arguably below the level of the former Chelsea defender.
Mexes’ signing would also leave Marquinhos as potentially fourth choice centre-back at the club, so you can understand why he is heavily linked with a move to Barcelona.
PSG are making a lot of strange decisions this summer, decisions that don’t seem to be pointing the club in an upwards direction. What Mexes would bring to PSG is an EU player that would count towards their home-grown quota. What is doesn’t bring is a small wage bill and quality as a defender.