France left-back Layvin Kurzawa has been the victim of a blackmail plot after he was recorded in a Paris bar criticising Didier Deschamps.
The PSG defender was caught on a mobile phone attacking his national coach, on an evening out with friends in the French capital, as reported by the Mirror.
As reported by Agence France-Presse, the left-back was captured on film criticising France manager Didier Deschamps in a Paris shisha bar and was told to pay â¬200,000 to prevent the footage being released in public. Kurzawa, 25, contacted the police who arranged a meeting to pay the money.
But Europe 1 radio station reports that police tapped the phone of the blackmailers and discovered they planned to rob Kurzawa and steal the money when he left his house on his way to the meeting.
"A police officer established contact with the gang acting as an intermediary for the player to set up a rendezvous," it's noted, per AFP.
But investigations suggested the gang planned to assault Kurzawa outside his home in the Paris suburbs, according to First Post.
A team of police officers watching the player's home arrested three men caught in the act in August, with a fourth suspect detained this month. Police arrested three suspects and have since detained two more people.
Kurzawa moved from Monaco to PSG in 2015. He has turned out nine times for France, including their last two outings against the Netherlands and Luxembourg. He is not the first France international to be the target of this type of extortion.
Formerly, two French players have been targets of blackmail, the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal implicating France strikers Djibril Cisse and Real Madrid star Karim Benzema. New Spurs right-back Serge Aurier posted comments critical of then PSG coach Laurent Blanc and his team-mates last year on Periscope last year.
And Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has not been picked by France since October 2015, due to his alleged role in a sex-tape blackmail plot against fellow French footballer Mathieu Valbuena.