PSG continues spending spree on Diego Lugano
Ambitious Paris Saint-Germain took its huge spending spree to €85 million ($121 million US) by signing Uruguay defender Diego Lugano on a three-year deal from Turkish side Fenerbahce, capping a frantic summer that has seen nine new players joining the club.
PSG announced the deal on Tuesday, without giving any financial details. Local reports estimated the transfer fee at €3 million ($4.3 million). The 30-year-old Lugano had two years remaining on his contract at Fenerbahce.
"It's a great pleasure for me to come here. It's a new stage in my career," Lugano said. "There is a lot of potential in Paris, I'm coming to a club with a lot of ambition and it's an opportunity to win more titles."
PSG, which has large backing from Qatari investors, had already spent €82 million ($116.4 million) on eight players —including a French record transfer fee of €42 million ($60 million) for Argentina midfielder Javier Pastore.
"We're very happy. He's here to bring his experience and his leadership," PSG's sporting director Leonardo said. "He completes our defence, we now have eight players in this sector. That's important so as to be competitive on every front."
Lugano won the Copa America with Uruguay in July and has scored five goals in 63 appearances for his country.
Lugano scored regularly for Fenerbahce with 21 league goals in 125 matches, including seven last season.
"I'm lucky enough to have won something in every club I've played for. That makes me quite proud," Lugano said. "Now I'm starting from scratch."
PSG has won the French Cup and League Cup in recent seasons, but it has not won the French league title since 1994, and last played in the Champions League seven years ago.
"PSG is looking for trophies, it's been quite a long time," Lugano said.
Although fans will look to Pastore, Brazilian winger Nene and France striker Kevin Gameiro to create and score goals, Lugano's arrival brings much-needed solidity to a fragile defence. He will likely play alongside 21-year-old Mamadou Sakho, who has already broken into the France squad.
"I've heard about the young players, some of them are knocking on the door of the international team," Lugano said. "There is a lot of quality here."
PSG is in third place in the French league with seven points from four matches, two points behind leader Montpellier.
Prince Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, whose Qatar Sports Investments owns 70 per cent of the club, has used his funds to make PSG an attractive destination. Leonardo left his job as Inter Milan coach to oversee PSG's long-term plan for domestic and European success.
France winger Jeremy Menez, midfielder Blaise Matuidi and Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu are among the other signings made by PSG — which also kept hold of Turkey striker Mevlut Erding despite strong interest from Rennes.