PSG-bound Russian goalkeeper Safonov caught in millions transfer turmoil over ex-wife's debt

Matvei Safonov of Russia looks on during the international friendly match between Russia and Cameroon on October 12, 2023.

PSG-bound Russian goalkeeper Safonov caught in millions transfer turmoil over ex-wife's debt

Festus Chuma 09:03 - 09.06.2024

PSG's transfer of Russian goalkeeper Matvei Safonov is stalled due to a travel ban linked to unpaid debts to his ex-wife.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) face a significant setback as their first major signing of the summer, Russian goalkeeper Matvei Safonov, is halted due to unresolved domestic issues.

The French club, eager to bolster their squad with a new goalkeeper, had nearly sealed a deal worth £17 million (approximately Ksh2.8 billion) for Safonov.

However, the move has been stymied by a travel ban imposed on him by Russian authorities, linked to a substantial debt he owes to his ex-wife.

According to sources from the Baza telegram channel via Match TV, Safonov is embroiled in a legal battle over child support and custody with his former spouse.

The situation has escalated to the extent that he has been barred from leaving Russia until the debt, reported to be around £510,405 (Ksh85 million), is settled.

In an interview local television station in Russia, Safonov’s ex-wife lawyer spoke on the issue.

"I can neither confirm nor deny the amount. But the debt is significant. Yes. The bailiff adopted a corresponding resolution and restricted Matvey Safonov from traveling outside the Russian Federation due to the fact that a large debt had arisen in paying alimony," he told Match TV as quoted by Sportskeeda.

This development comes at a time when PSG is reevaluating their squad dynamics, especially after another disappointing campaign in the UEFA Champions League.

The Parisian giants have found consistent European success elusive and are looking to make strategic signings to change their fortunes.

The pursuit of Safonov was seen as a direct challenge to Gianluigi Donnarumma, PSG’s current number-one goalkeeper.

Donnarumma, who is set to represent Italy at Euro 2024, has been a key player for PSG but the club's management believes competition for the starting spot could enhance his performances.

The necessity for a shake-up in the squad has been further underscored by the impending departure of star forward Kylian Mbappe, marking the start of a new era at the club.

Safonov’s anticipated arrival was part of a broader strategy to reinforce the team’s spine and inject fresh competitive spirit into the squad.

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