Verdict on AS Monaco's start to the season
"Can do better! It's been a hesitant start with a lot of matches and new signings who need to settle in. The team began very well in Ligue 1 and in Champion's League qualifying. Last week was more difficult, but that was to be expected with eight games in August. The team was ready, and it's a real shame about the injury to João Moutinho. He's a player who's very important to the team and we missed him against Valencia and PSG. But this is just the start and we are very ambitious, aiming to secure at least a top three place in the league and go as far as we can in the Europa League."
Ligue 1 and the Europa League
"Paris SG are very strong. Perhaps there will be two leagues this season: one for PSG, and another where we'll be fighting it out with Lyon, Marseille, Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux for a top three spot.
We're playing in Europe for the second season in a row, and we'll be striving to make our supporters as proud as we can, like last year. We have been drawn in a group worthy of the Champions League, which is a good thing. The Europa League is a great competition and we'll give it our best shot. We always need to bear in mind that three years ago, the club was still in Ligue 2."
The transfer window
"There's one very important thing to keep in mind: transfers are part of the football economy. Outside of the ten biggest clubs in the world, nobody can buy without selling, and we are no exception to that. But we've still invested close to 75 million this summer in 11 players. Those are very significant investments.
All transfers are decided in conjunction with the technical staff. We said that players who wanted leave would be allowed to go, and we have honoured that commitment.
In Martial's case, it was different. We really wanted to keep him, but Manchester United made an unbelievable offer right at the end of the transfer window, that neither the club nor the player could refuse. That's football. We had anticipated these moves, with a lot of players coming in. I'm convinced we have the quality to perform well, I believe in our squad. But clearly certain clubs (especially the English ones) have unprecedented resources and it's hard to resist. We've managed to fend off bids for certain players. But how could we prevent Anthony moving to Man Utd, like James before him with Real Madrid? You have to understand that once a player has decided on a new challenge, it's difficult to keep him.
When we decide to go ahead with a transfer, we take several things into account: the club's financial and sporting interests, the player's wishes and the prestige of the club interested in our player. When our players leave to go to Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, PSG or Inter Milan, we know it's hard to fight that and, in a certain sense, we can be proud of the work we've achieved, because our players are going off to join clubs with global stature. Of course I'd like to keep them here longer, but you have to be realistic faced with the power of those clubs. When I look at James Rodriguez and Anthony Martial, they are the two biggest ever transfers in the French league and in the top ten in the world. After that, our challenge is to stay competitive on the pitch and I have faith in the choices we have made.
So we'll be trying to work even harder to get closer to those clubs, but we know it will take time. In any case, we didn't want to rush into any panic buys at the end of the transfer window.
I see a lot of criticism, but it was the same this time last year. And yet I think that with Coentrao, Cavaleiro, Traore, El Shaarawy and Lemar… we have top-quality signings. We will review things before the winter break to decide what adjustments to make to our squad in January."
"I think the international break will be good for the squad. I have every confidence in this team and in all the young players who have joined us this summer. Some of them have already had a chance to show good things on the pitch. It will take a little time for the team to show its true qualities. Bit by bit, the squad will progress. The coach knows exactly how to handle this type of situation. The start of the season is always a difficult period, but we know exactly where we're going and how to get there."
"I'm sure we'll make even more progress, not just on the pitch but also in terms of our revenues. It's true that we've had to reshape our project, in particularly due to the FFP constraints. We're building up the club step by step. In sporting terms, we made it back into Ligue 1 and the European Cup. We then structured the club administratively. Our revenues have already risen well, but they are not yet at the kind of level required for a club looking to play in the European Cup. That's another reason for the need to sell players, because it enables us to retain a budget in order to stay ambitious on the pitch.
Once we are more solid financially and have earned more revenue, it will be easier to refuse some (very) big bids.
In the meantime, we are trying to anticipate departures and maintain a talented team. I have every confidence in our squad's ability to achieve our targets, whilst giving the supporters something to cheer about.
And I would like to thank all those fans who came along to support us in the games against Valencia and PSG, as well as our away fans. Their support spurs us on to give the very best of ourselves..."