Paris St Germain eye Arab stars to boost MidEast fanbase

Qatari-owned French top flight football club is scouting for talented Arab players - chairman
Paris Saint-Germain FC during the Dubai Challenge Cup match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and AC Milan at Al-Rashid Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Getty Images)
By Shane McGinley
Tue 23 Oct 2012 02:18 PM

Nasser Al Khulaifi, the chairman of Qatar-owned Paris St Germain (PSG) football club is looking to sign Arab stars in a bid to boost the French club’s popularity in the Middle East, he said.

Al Khulaifi singled out Spanish club Valencia's Algerian player Soufian Feghouli, who he said “was placed high on the club's transfer list” and management would make a “solid offer at the right moment,” he told the Qatar News Agency.

Any offer is likely to be in the region of €10m (US$13m) to lure Feghouli away from the Spanish club, the report added. Another name reportedly on PSG’s hit list is Queen's Park Rangers' Adel Taarabt, who is from Morocco.

The potential signings are part of the chairman’s efforts to boost the club’s popularity in the Middle East and increase its Arab fanbase.

Qatar Investment Authority has spent around US$315.12m since buying PSG in April 2011 to sign expensive players like Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Brazil defender Thiago Silva and Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.

The club, however, could only finish second in Ligue 1 behind Montpellier last season and their 2012 campaign ended with three disappointing draws.

"Winning the Champions League is not easy. What Chelsea did last season was impressive but it took them nine years to win it," Al-Khulaifi said last month, referring to billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich's purchase of the London club in 2003.

"Of course we want to win the Champions League one day but we are realistic - it takes time," he told Reuters in an interview.

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