PSG's Emery confirms transfer talks with Lucas Moura, Hatem Ben Arfa
PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain have spoken with unwanted pair Lucas Moura and Hatem Ben Arfa about possible January transfers away from Parc des Princes, coach Unai Emery confirmed on Saturday.
Lucas was an unused substitute as PSG beat Lille 3-1 at home in Ligue 1, but he regularly has been left out of coach Unai Emery's squads, while Ben Arfa has not featured in any of the Spaniard's groups and has found himself with the reserves at times.
Speaking after the victory over Lille, Emery confirmed talks with the Brazilian and the Frenchman but denied that goal scorers Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore have asked to leave the capital club this winter.
"Javier and Angel? As far as I know, they have not declared their desire to leave," the Basque tactician told journalists. "They are as they are -- in the team. We have spoken with Hatem and Lucas about possible moves, nobody else."
Emery also defended his decision to stick with Dani Alves at right-back after his horror show in the 3-1 Champions League defeat away at Bayern Munich in midweek, despite Thomas Meunier's availability.
"After Tuesday's defeat, I wanted to keep a few of the players on the pitch and not change everybody," then former Sevilla boss said. "I am very happy with Thomas and I have asked him for a bit of patience. Dani is ready to play in every match but I want to rotate a few times."
Regarding the Lille win, Emery was happy to see his players bounce back after consecutive losses to Strasbourg in Ligue 1 and then Bayern in Europe.
"We played well," the man from Hondarribia said. "At the start of the game, the team showed plenty of desire and showed good solidarity against a strong side.
"Lille looked to block the spaces and counter-attack whenever possible. We were able to show patience and calmness -- we struck at the right moments and took our opportunities.
"I think the result is a logical one and well-earned considering how the encounter panned out. I am very happy with our display because we rediscovered our usual level after two losses."
Pastore made it 2-0 to PSG early in the second half after being teed up by Di Maria, and the Argentina international was pleased with his collaboration with his compatriot and other teammates Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani.
"It was a good showing," Pastore said. "I managed to find plenty of space, I could reach the attackers and, of course, I scored as well.
"My goal was a very nice move. We pressed well through Marco and then Angel, Edinson and I combined well with just a touch of the ball each. It all happened really fast and we pressed well, as the coach asked us to. We are happy with the result and the way we played this evening."
Kylian Mbappe completed the scoring late on with a simple finish after a lightning turn of pace to capitalise on Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan's desperation to help his side to a late equaliser.
The France international admitted that a possible third straight match without a victory was unthinkable.
"In Paris, two consecutive defeats is too much," Mbappe said. "We absolutely had to set the record straight and get back to winning ways.
"It was a good game and we won with style. However, we also know that we can still do better. The most important thing, though, was to win again.
"When you are surrounded by great players, you can play in any formation. For example, Javier is a great player and played well, not to mention scored, here. We know that we can change our approach at any time, this is one of our strengths."