Neymar left out of latest PSG squad as Ligue 1 champions await clarity

By Sports Desk August 25, 2019

Neymar remains absent from Paris Saint-Germain's matchday squad in a sign the Ligue 1 club are yet to gain clarity on his future.

The Brazil international trained with the first team during the week but has not been selected to face Toulouse on Sunday.

His omission comes after Thomas Tuchel confirmed Neymar's selection depended on PSG resolving the "unsettling" transfer speculation surrounding the world's most expensive player.

"He has had a good week with his team-mates. However, the club's position is clear: while his situation is unclear, he cannot play," Tuchel said at Saturday's pre-match news conference.

"If Neymar's situation became clear tomorrow, then he could play."

Talks between PSG and interested parties Barcelona and Real Madrid are reportedly ongoing but the September 2 transfer deadline is drawing closer.

Neymar sat out the entire pre-season schedule due to an ankle injury that saw him miss the Copa America.

PSG won 3-0 against Nimes in their Ligue 1 opener before losing 2-1 at Rennes, having beaten those same opponents in the Trophee des Champions in Shenzhen.

Julian Draxler, a starter last weekend, is out with injury, joining Ander Herrera and Thilo Kehrer on the sidelines.

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    Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar was exempt from blame for his sending off in a 4-3 win over Bordeaux on Sunday after head coach Thomas Tuchel refused to criticise a reckless tackle.

    Brazil international Neymar was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Bordeaux's Yacine Adli in added time of the Ligue 1 clash at the Parc des Princes.

    The 28-year-old had an angry exchange with referee Willy Delajod and then appeared to sarcastically applaud the officials as he left the pitch.

    However, Tuchel believed Neymar's reaction was a natural one given he felt the PSG player had been fouled beforehand by Bordeaux's Youssouf Sabaly.

    Neymar is now set to miss PSG's next Ligue 1 fixture at home to Dijon on Saturday.

    "We have to talk about the whole situation," Tuchel said of Neymar's challenge in his post-match media conference.

    "He is nervous and he reacts. It is human. He must not, but it is human. And the Bordeaux player does not even get a yellow card."

    PSG secured the points after a chaotic win thanks to two goals from Marquinhos and one apiece for Edinson Cavani – his 200th in all competitions for the club – and Kylian Mbappe.

    It helped PSG increase their lead to 13 points over second-placed Marseille at the top of Ligue 1.

    And Tuchel acknowledged the win helped boost morale as they produced a positive reaction to a 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

    "The victory is the most important thing now because there are things to improve, it is clear," added the German coach.

    "The players lack a little confidence after a defeat. It's like that. We can see that a lot of teams in Europe after a defeat it's always a little difficult to regain spirit and confidence."

    Brazilian defender Marquinhos feels PSG must work hard to improve their defensive performances after leaking seven goals in their past two Ligue 1 games.

    "On the one hand we are really very strong offensively, but on the other we concede a lot of goals," he told Canal+.

    "As defenders we really have to think about what we can do best. In this match it was mainly on set-pieces. We really have to work better collectively."

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    PSG held a presentation for Cavani, who has seven goals this season, after the game and the 33-year-old was "a little emotional".

    "It's the team-mates who give you the goals," Cavani told Canal+.

    "It's a very special moment after a difficult month in January, but I'm here to give my best and try to have a great season with the team.

    "But I'm like that, a little emotional. I looked at my family who is there, always behind me, pushing me, giving me love.

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    Defender Marquinhos scored a brace for PSG and Kylian Mbappe also found the net, though the hosts had Neymar sent off in additional time.

    PSG are 13 points clear of nearest rivals Marseille in the Ligue 1 table.

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