Tuchel: Neymar out of action until his future is resolved
Paris Saint Germain player Neymar Jr (R) and teammates attend a training session at the Ooredoo training centre in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, outside Paris, France, 17 August 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/IAN LANGSDON
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) president and CEO Nasser Al Khelaifi (R) talks with PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel (L) after a signing ceremony for the new partnership of French Ligue 1 soccer club PSG and the Accor Group at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, 22 February 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/JULIEN DE ROSA
Paris, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- Neymar will not play with Paris Saint Germain until his future is resolved, coach Thomas Tuchel said on Saturday.
Neymar has fully recovered from an injury he sustained in early June while on international duty with Brazil, Tuchel said during a press conference ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 game against Toulouse.
“The position of the club is that if the situation is not clear, he cannot play… If the situation is clear tomorrow he can play, if not, he cannot,” Tuchel added.
The former Barcelona player has trained “in good spirit” with the rest of the team, but “on the other hand there is his situation with the club, which is the same,” Tuchel continued.
He declined to comment whether or not Neymar being ruled out from the top-11 would mean that he would leave the club, saying that this is a question for the sporting director Leonardo.
Tuchel admitted that the uncertainty surrounding Neymar “does not help” the team, but he downplayed its effect because “everyone knows things are this way” and that “this always happens with the big players”.
Neymar last played with PSG on 11 May.
Tension between the club and Neymar have started to fizzle as the Brazilian is most likely staying at the French powerhouse due to a lack of convincing offers, French newspaper L'Équipe reported earlier in the day.
The newspaper considered several meetings between Neymar and Leonardo in recent days a sign of this change.
Relations between the two have been stormy since the arrival of Leonardo, who publicly criticized Neymar for returning from vacation one week late.
But relations between the club and the player have been tense since PSG president, Nasser al-Khelaïfi, said in an interview published on 18 June that he wanted players who dedicate themselves to the club.
No one had forced Neymar to join PSG, al-Khelaïfi said, adding that he was well aware of the project.
This brewing tension has extended to the stands, evident a few weeks ago when some PSG fans chanted slogans against the Brazilian forward during PSG’s first Ligue 1 game against Nimes at the Parc des Princes stadium.
Both parties, however, want to put all of this behind them.
“There is no war anymore, exchanges are open,” L'Équipe cited a source inside the club as saying.
This does not mean that Neymar does not want to leave PSG anymore, but he is aware that PSG has not received offers anywhere near its expectations at least for now with a little over a week to go before the end of the summer transfer window.
Neymar, according to the newspaper, has put pressure on Barcelona to meet PSG's expectations.
The Catalan club president, Josep Bartomeu, has vowed to readjust his offer, which would include players besides cash money.
One of the hypotheses published by media outlets suggests Neymar would join Barça on a one-season long loan contract that would include a purchase option for 170 million euros.
The operation would involve French international Ousmane Dembele joining PSG on loan.
Barcelona’s nemesis Real Madrid is also interested in the 27-year-old, something Madrid’s coach Zinedine Zidane has hinted at. EFE-EPA