In one of this summer's most offbeat deals, Stoke City's Cameroonian forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting made his way over to French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Transferring for free, the move raised some eyebrows around the Championship and Ligue 1 respectively. However, it has now been revealed that the whole deal was driven by financial fair play.
French journalist, Romain Molina, revealed both clubs' motivations on his personal YouTube channel, saying: “The player had refused an offer from Huddersfield before arriving at Paris. A club works with people they trust, and in this deal, it’s Roger Wittmann, from Rogon, who was behind it.
"He’s Tuchel’s mate, and he gets along well with Antero Henrique. He’s also Draxler’s agent and Timo Kehrer’s, so he’s well engrained in Paris.
“For Choupo, it was mostly financial. They’ve already talked about selling him. It’s only for the money for Paris. The player will play one year, will do his job and what Tuchel asks, and then, next summer, they’ll ask their network to work on it, in China especially.
The player will have the PSG label, and will be completely revalued. It could end up happening for €10m.”
Thomas Tuchel: "We wanted a strong player, able to hold the ball up & dominate aerially."— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 31, 2018
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the league since 2014/15:
• 654 aerial duels
• 362 aerial duels lost
• 292 aerial duels won
7.04 contested per 90 minutes. https://t.co/8X21ZTGdkY
Knowing PSG coach Thomas Tuchel from his time with Mainz, if could be argued Choupo-Moting's transfer does make some sense. Nonetheless, with this information coming to light, it will be interesting to see how UEFA handle such a manipulation of their esteemed system.