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PSG sign deal with Qatar Sports Investments

Paris match for Chelsea owner?

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH must be starting to feel a little left out. He joined Chelsea in a blaze of glory in 2003 and was the talk of football.

But the frenzied focus in the Russian's investment in the London club has faded into comparitive obscurity compared to what is happening at Manchester City.

Middle East investors seem determined to stamp their authority asglobal powerhouses in the world of football.

Now Paris St Germain have emerged as 'the new Man City' in France, thanks to Qatar Sports Investments - who became the club's 70% shareholders in June. They didn't waste any time signalling their intentions either. Former Inter Milan coach Leonardo was quickly installed as the club's general manager and PSG's plan for European dominance had started.

So, are PSG really ready to outbid the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona for the cream of European talent? It would appear so.

The French club have already splashed out on a host of new players and are targetting the French title and Champions League qualification as two of its immediate priorities. And it's a safe bet that more signings will follow soon. Watch this space.

But even the best laid plans don't always have perfect beginnings. After a big fanfare to welcome in the new season and herald the dawn of a new footballing era in the French capital, PSG's first game of the season on August 6 ended in disappointment - a 1-0 home defeat to Lorient.

The following Saturday saw PSG chalk up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at Rennes, with new £9.5m signing from Lorient Kevin Gameiro's 73rd-minute strike cancelled out by an 88th-minute equaliser.

Abramovich enjoyed title success at Chelsea early on during his reign and was close to pulling off his ultimate goal of Champions League glory, only to be thwarted when John Terry's slip on a rain-soaked pitch as he was about to convert the winning penalty to deny the Russian his moment of glory.

Chelsea have established themselves as serious title challengers every season since in England and while PSG might not have to wait for too many more years to end a championship drought that spans 20 years, it remains to be seen whether a Qatari force in Paris can be a serious threat to Abramovich's European dream in the near future.

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