PSG signs Brazilian defender Maxwell from Barca

PSG signs Brazilian defender Maxwell from Barca

Published Jan. 12, 2012 4:42 p.m. ET

Ambitious Paris Saint-Germain has taken its spending spree this season close to ?90 million ($116 million) with the signing of the attack-minded Brazilian defender Maxwell from Barcelona.

The French league leader presented Maxwell at a news conference on Thursday, with its sporting director Leonardo saying that the 30-year-old player had signed a 3 1/2 year contract.

No details were given of the transfer fee, which French media have estimated at up to ?7 million ($9 million). Maxwell had 2 1/2 years left on his Barcelona contract.

''The ambition of the club is what attracted me here,'' Maxwell said. ''I will make sure I adhere to how the coach wants me to play.''


Maxwell is new coach Carlo Ancelotti's first signing. The Italian wants to make PSG a more attacking team, starting from the back. Being a Brazilian, and having played three seasons at Barcelona, that shouldn't be a problem for Maxwell.

''The basis of Brazilian football is attacking (football). It's a part of my game,'' Maxwell said. ''It's true that Barcelona reached a very high level, but it's Ancelotti who'll decide how PSG plays.''

Maxwell, who has also played for Ajax, won one Champions League and two Spanish league titles with Barcelona. He played 89 games, scoring twice.

''He's had a great career, and we're delighted he's joining us,'' Leonardo said. ''Fullbacks have become very important (in football).''

Leonardo said Ancelotti had tried to sign Maxwell when he was coach of AC Milan. Ancelotti quit Milan to join Chelsea, where he had spent the last two seasons, winning the English league and Cup double in his first season.

''Maxwell has the ability to make the difference in this position,'' Leonardo said. ''Ancelotti knows him well.''

Maxwell played under Pep Guardiola, the most successful manager in Barcelona's history and recently voted FIFA's men's coach of the year. He is now looking forward to working with Ancelotti, who won two Champions League titles as a player and two more as a coach with AC Milan.

''Ancelotti has won a lot of titles, he's an example for any player and it's very motivating to work alongside him,'' Maxwell said. ''I'm confident it will go well.''

PSG has not won the league title since 1994 and last played in the Champions League eight years ago. Backed by Qatari investment, it already spent ?82 million at the start of the season.

Maxwell, who has never played for Brazil, joins winger Nene and defender Ceara as one of three Brazilians in PSG's squad. He is one of five South Americans, along with Javier Pastore - a French record signing at ?42 million - and defender Diego Lugano, who won the Copa America with Uruguay last year and reached the World Cup semifinal in 2010.

PSG's spending is unlikely to stop there.

The club has also been linked with a bid for AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato.

Although Leonardo avoided the question when asked on Thursday, French reports earlier in the day had said that PSG was preparing a bid of ?35 million for the Brazil international.

Pato has decided to stay with Milan, however, which he described in a statement on the Italian club's website as ''my home.''