Robert Pires believes Paris Saint-Germain will have a tough task to find a suitable replacement for the departing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The 34-year-old striker – who has an expiring contract – has confirmed he will leave the club after Saturday’s Coupe de France final against Marseille and received a fond farewell after scoring twice at his last Parc des Princes appearance against Nantes last weekend.
Pires feels Ibrahimovic’s impact with PSG was one that went beyond scoring goals, even if there were plenty of them – he has 48 to his name in all competitions this season.
The Arsenal icon, 42, does not envy PSG’s task in replacing a player he thinks will leave an “empty space”.
“He will leave an empty space at PSG because he left his mark since coming to the club with what he did, what he said and the goals scored,” Pires told Omnisport.
“Now the PSG board will have to think about who will replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I think it will be very difficult. I have no idea.”
Offering his own take on who the PSG should look to replace him with, Pires suggested the targeting of stars from two of Europe’s top clubs in Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
“I thought Robert Lewandowski but he extended his contract with Bayern,” he said, although the Poland international’s deal is yet to be officially confirmed.
“It could be Neymar but they will have to spend a lot of money for him.”