Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has confirmed that veteran duo Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani will not stay with the French champions with their contracts due to expire at the end of this month.
«Yes, we are coming to the end,» Leonardo said in an interview with newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.
«It has been a very difficult decision to reach. These are players who have marked the history of the club and you wonder if you should carry on a little longer together or if it’s best to avoid staying a year too long.
«We needed to make the right decision, including in economic terms and in terms of the next generation of players coming through.»
It was widely reported earlier this week that Brazilian centre-back Silva, the PSG captain who turns 36 later this year, would not be kept on at the Parc des Princes, where he arrived from AC Milan in 2012.
Silva’s contract is due to expire at the end of this month, as is that of Uruguayan striker Cavani.
Now 33, Cavani joined PSG from Napoli for 64 million euros in 2013 and has gone on to become the club’s all-time top scorer with 200 goals.
However, his place in the side came under threat following the arrival of Mauro Icardi on loan from Inter Milan at the start of the season.
Silva and Cavani have played a major role in establishing PSG as the unrivalled force in French football, but their time at the club will also be remembered for disappointing results in Europe.
PSG recently made Icardi’s move permanent but the financial position of the Qatar-owned club has been seriously weakened by the decision to end the Ligue 1 season early, with 10 rounds of matches unplayed, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
PSG were declared champions for the third year running but within the club it is estimated they stand to lose more than 200 million euros ($225 million), increasing the need to trim their enormous wage bill.
«Maybe we are making a mistake, I don’t know, there is never a perfect moment,» added the Brazilian Leonardo, who does nevertheless hope to extend the contracts of both players to allow them to take part in the latter stages of the interrupted Champions League.
«The idea is that they stay with us until the end of August, but how we do that is not clear yet.»
Paris are through to the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition, which is set to be played to a finish in August.
They must also still play the finals this summer of the French Cup, against Saint-Etienne, and the League Cup, against Lyon.
Several other PSG players out of contract this summer, including full-backs Thomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa, and striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, are also set to leave the club.