Rumours surrounding the future of Paris Saint-Germain winger Ezequiel Lavezzi have been around for the best part of the year. However, now it seems that the Parisian club are making plans for life without the Argentine winger, with Liverpool target Nicolas Gaitan gaining the most interest in the French capital.
Liverpool are known to be keen admirers of the Benfica winger and there were plans to try and make a move for the winger in January. But the Anfield club and fellow English side Manchester United were dealt a blow recently when the 26-year-old signed a contract extension until 2018 with the Portuguese club.
The Argentine winger now has a reported released clause of £27.5 million, a price that would reportedly put off Liverpool from making any move for Gaitan.
It is not a price that would put off the French champions, especially if they believed they were signing an upgrade on Lavezzi. The current PSG winger had a mixed season, starting slowly but finishing with nine goals made him PSG’s third highest scorer, but the fact he didn’t manage an assist in the league is the reason the French club would be convinced to move on.
Recent contract talks stalled between the 27-year-old and PSG and now they are looking for alternatives. Angel Di Maria has been mentioned again, plus Ligue 1 talent Paul-Georges Ntep, but the Argentine that has made over 100 appearances for Benfica would be their ideal signing.
Gaitan may not be as fast as Lavezzi, but he would offer versatility, better control and distribution and a higher quality of ball into the box from other flank.
As Laurent Blanc tries to move away from a rigid 4-3-3 formation, the signing of Gaitan next summer would open up the flexibility behind both Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and help incorporate both Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura.
Lavezzi is currently the odd-man-out, pushed out wide to the left, it limits PSG’s options. However, if PSG were to pursue Gaitan, it would leave their current Argentine as an available option for Liverpool, a move that would likely work and help give Rodgers' side a quicker, more direct option down the flank.
It may not all be bad news for Liverpool fans if they miss out on Gaitan but pick up Lavezzi.