Beijing Guoan eyeing January move for PSG's Lucas Moura - source
PARIS -- Beijing Guoan are interested in Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura and want to sign him in the January transfer window, a source close to the Chinese Super League side has told ESPN FC.
Lucas, 25, is out of favour at Parc des Princes and has known since this summer that coach Unai Emery no longer considers him part of his plans, while sporting director Antero Henrique tried to move him on before that window closed.
The former Sao Paulo man rejected moves away from Paris this summer because of his partner's pregnancy and his desire to remain in the French capital until their first child was born. Now that this has happened, Lucas is more open to ending his near five-year association with the Ligue 1 club.
According to the source, the Brazil international was initially reluctant to consider a move to East Asia, but since speaking with former PSG teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi, who now plays for Hebei China Fortune, he is more open to the idea.
Recently, Goal in France claimed that there is an agreement in principle between Lucas and Beijing Guoan, while Le Parisien said that the player's representative, Cristiano Torelli, had rejected that report.
The source confirmed that the Chinese club are interested in Lucas and that sporting director Li Ming has travelled to Europe to speak with potential new signings and their clubs about possible January moves.
However, the source denied that an agreement has been reached between the two parties and suggested that Lucas is still hoping to stay in Europe -- possibly with Chelsea.
Should no European interest materialise, Lucas is likely to accept the move to Beijing if the club coached by Roger Schmidt can reach an agreement with PSG.
Until then, Lucas' situation remains the same -- he, like Hatem Ben Arfa, is surplus to requirements at PSG and is being treated as such, so barely features in Emery's matchday squads.
Selling Lucas to China for a significant fee in January could help PSG in their quest to satisfy UEFA's financial fair play regulations.
According to SFR Sport, PSG's meeting with European football's governing body in Nyon, Switzerland, on Thursday satisfied the Ligue 1 leaders.
However, L'Equipe added that despite strong arguments from PSG's hierarchy of Victoriano Melero, Jean-Claude Blanc and Philippe Boindrieux, the capital outfit still need to raise around €75 million between now and next summer after spending big on Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The Qatari-owned club are reported to be keen to hear from UEFA as soon as possible regarding Thursday's meeting.
Selling players, such as Lucas, Ben Arfa and possibly Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore and Kevin Trapp, is one way PSG could raise those funds. Improved, lucrative sponsorship deals represent another avenue that is likely to be utilised to reach this figure.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.