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PSG get their man at last as Skriniar signs on free transfer

Slovakia captain Milan Skriniar became Paris Saint Germain’s first signing of the summer on Thursday, joining on a free transfer a year after the French champions declined to pay Inter Milan 70 million euros ($76 million).

The 28-year-old defender joins a day after former Spain and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique was unveiled as the club’s new coach.

He is the latest manager to be handed the task of delivering the Champions League trophy that has eluded the Qatari owners since they bought the club in 2011.

Skriniar, who has signed a five-year contract, had been a top target of Luis Enrique’s predecessor Christophe Galtier.

“I am delighted to become a part of this wonderful club,” Skriniar said in a statement.

His defensive abilities will be welcome for a PSG defence that conceded 40 goals on their way to a record 11th Ligue 1 crown last term.

It was the worst defensive record for a French champion club since Lyon conceded 41 in 2003.

Skriniar enjoyed a successful six-year spell at Inter.

The 60-times capped player won the 2021 Serie A title, two Italian Cups and two Italian Super Cups.

However, he hadn’t played for Inter since March and underwent spinal surgery in France the following month.

He was on the bench for the Champions League final which Inter lost 1-0 to Manchester City.

Relations between player and club had become strained at the turn of the year and Inter stripped him of the captaincy in February after he refused to renew his contract.

“The past few months have not been easy for me,” he said.

“However, today everything is much better and I feel in perfect shape.”

Skriniar is unlikely to be the only defender PSG add to their squad with Bayern Munich’s French 2018 World Cup-winning defender Lucas Hernandez a target.

PSG also announced they had signed forward Marco Asensio, 27, on a three-year deal from Real Madrid, where he spent 10 seasons, winning 17 titles including three Champions League trophies and scoring 61 goals in 285 matches.

He also signed on a free transfer. 

“It’s a privilege to be part of this great club,” said Asensio, who played in the last two World Cups for Spain, having won 37 caps in his career.

“I’m looking forward to joining my new teammates and working with them to achieve some great goals.”

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