Thiago Silva's claim that Paris St-Germain are a step up from Man United is dubious, but Angel Di Maria is likely to win more there...
"Man United have gone 11 years without parading the FA Cup and five without the Capital One Cup. Those trophies are going to be distant third and fourth priorities for van Gaal, who has won only one domestic cup this century, and it is probably too soon in this squad’s cycle to deliver on 21.020/1 Champions League winner odds."
Angel Di Maria's forgettable stay at Manchester United is about to end, with the Argentina international undergoing a Paris St-Germain medical in Qatar on Tuesday.
It seems like a good deal for all parties. Di Maria joins a Champions League team that will play him regularly after closing 2014/15 on the bench, Paris St-Germain get a player that they wanted a year ago at a £15 million discount and Man United recoup 74% of the British record fee that they paid.
However, a bit of needle has been injected into the saga by the French champions' captain Thiago Silva provocatively insinuating that they are a bigger club than the 20-time English title winners.
He said: "I think that people now need to respect PSG as a club, and our position as one of the big clubs in Europe. Real Madrid and Barcelona are probably on another level but, after that, if you are joining PSG it means you are probably taking a step up."
Fair enough? Well, he went on to crank up the cattiness: "We went further than any English clubs in Europe last year - even beating the English champions. Every season we keep our best players despite much interest, and always add the best players in Europe. How many clubs can say that?"
If the ultimate gauge of a side's grandeur is silverware then Man United have a hefty headstart, with 20 league titles to five, 15 domestic cups to 14 and three Champions League triumphs to zero. Paris St-Germain are thinning the gap annually though, and that process is likely to continue in 2015/16.
This writer is actually tipping Louis van Gaal's men to win the league at 6.611/2, but doing so is an incredibly taxing task in a division with six leading forces, so the Premier League-FA Cup double is becoming extinct, being achieved just once in 13 years.
The Red Devils have gone 11 years without parading the FA Cup and five without the Capital One Cup. Those trophies are going to be distant third and fourth priorities for van Gaal, who has won only one domestic cup this century, and it is probably too soon in this squad's cycle to deliver on 21.020/1 Champions League winner odds.
Paris St-Germain are also unlikely to take the continent's greatest honour at 16.015/1 - though three successive quarter-final appearances put them higher up the food chain - yet it is far easier for them to clean up domestically.
They have eased to Ligue 1 glory by 12, nine and eight-point margins in the past three campaigns and are rated 1.211/5 near-certainties to retain. In addition, they have earned consecutive Coupe de la Ligues and last term's Coupe de France, enabling them to complete a French treble.
Consequently, this scribbler anticipates an end-of-season trophy count of Man United 1-2 Paris St-Germain, but if Man United lift the Premier League and Les Parisiens land Ligue 1 and one domestic cup, many will argue that the English giants' haul is more impressive.
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