L’Equipe journalist discusses Depay, Kouassi and Kalulu plus Theo and Bennacer to PSG rumours

By Oliver Fisher -

L’Equipe journalist Valentin Pauluzzi has given his take on the rumours in the media at the moment linking Milan with Ligue 1 in various ways.

Pauluzzi was interviewed exclusively by MilanNews to take stock of the names joined to Milan in the last few days as well as the possible interest of PSG in Theo Hernandez and Ismael Bennacer.

He began though by talking about Lyon amid rumours that winger Memphis Depay is a major target for the Rossoneri, especially given that as it stands they will be without European competitions next season.

“Lyon are in a particular situation, with the current pause they would be out of the cups [next season], but winning the Champions League they would qualify for the next edition. Lyon will have to wait until August 31 to understand how to build the team. Depay without cups could ask to go away, everything remains in suspension,” he said.

Among the players linked with Milan is PSG centre-back Tanguy Kouassi, a 17-year-old who is out of contract at the end of June and could therefore represent a market opportunity.

“He is a class of 2002 player that has had a good minute in a team like PSG which is among the best squads, who trains with Marquinos and Thiago Silva as masters, against Neymar, Cavani, Icardi, Di Maria etc.,” he continued.

“In addition to that, the French youth sectors remain among the best in the world. In a different context like that of Milan it would be all to see. PSG always finds space for young players, it is not a squad list of 25 champions, there are 18 and then some young people who carve out their space and grow before being sold.”

Another name on the Rossoneri management’s notebook is that of Nantes midfielder Imran Louza.

“I know him very little, I don’t question his qualities. France after Brazil is the country that exports most players, this is very significant,” Pauluzzi said.

“But one thing is to play and be good in Nantes, one thing is to do it in Milan, not because the level of the Rossoneri is very high, but the needs of the fans are always very high despite the difficult period.

“The San Siro crowd rightly wants results and good performances, so playing in that stadium is very difficult for a young man who comes from Ligue 1, in front of 80,000 spectators and the Curva Sud when you have to make capital gains, but the audience remembers the  Ancelotti’s years and so on.”

In recent days there has been talk about contacts between Maldini and Pierre Kalulu, a young Lyon defender. Is there a negotiation between the clubs?

“I don’t know anything about negotiations, I don’t deal with the market. I can say that for a young Frenchman Maldini remains Maldini, he is a world icon, so when he calls you, as with Theo Hernandez, it can be a factor that makes the difference to sign with Milan.”

How was the explosion of Theo Hernandez with the AC Milan shirt received in France?

“There has been enough talk in France, a left-back who scores so much by force gives the eye. It is an undiscovered role in the French national team, but the hierarchies can change. There is Digne and his brother Lucas who he is injured, so we talk about it from this perspective.”

In recent days there has been talk of an assault from Leonardo’s PSG on some Rossoneri players such as Theo and Bennacer. How much truth is there?

“I have no news about it but Theo Hernandez seems to me to be a consistent goal given that Kurzawa is at the end of the contract and Bernat is due to expire next year, so surely PSG will need a left back,” the journalist added.

“One like Theo, even if he has just arrived, if Milan do not make the Champions League and even the Europa League I do not know how long he will be at Milan. It therefore seems to me a feasible goal for PSG.

“Bennacer has been doing well in recent months but perhaps he is a little bit immature, although as as back-up to Verratti he could be an idea.”

Tags AC Milan Ismaël Bennacer Tanguy Kouassi theo hernandez