PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain made a surprise move to sign the Cameroon forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting late on Friday night just before the transfer window closed around Europe.
Choupo-Moting, 29, has signed a two-year deal with the French champions as a free agent after leaving Stoke City, who were relegated from the English Premier League at the end of last season.
It is an intriguing move, and a world away from the blockbuster deals of August 2017 when PSG committed the two biggest transfer fees in history to sign Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.
But Choupo-Moting provides an extra option in attack for coach Thomas Tuchel and has plenty of experience at the top level in Germany, where he played for Hamburg, Mainz, and Schalke 04.
Choupo-Moting’s arrival follows that of Spanish left-back Juan Bernat, signed for 15 million euros (RM71.8 million) from Bayern Munich late in the window for PSG, who are under pressure to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
The early closure of the transfer window in England this year, and in Italy, meant a less chaotic final day of August than usual this year.
There were still notable moves elsewhere in France, though, with Lyon spending 22 million euros (RM105 million) on Celtic’s France under-21 international striker Moussa Dembélé.
Meanwhile, Monaco signed Belgium midfielder Nacer Chadli from West Bromwich Albion on a three-year deal for a fee of 12 million euros (RM57.4 million).
Monaco have sold several leading players this summer, most notably France winger Thomas Lemar, who joined Atlético Madrid for 72 million euros (RM344 million).
That was one of the biggest deals anywhere in Europe, although Cristiano Ronaldo’s 100 million-euro (RM480 million) move from Real Madrid to Juventus in July eclipsed everything else.