PSG coach Tuchel: Neymar can't play until "situation is clarified"
Tuchel has admitted that Neymar is fit and available to play for PSG this weekend but the club will not allow him to pick the Brazilian until his future is sorted out.
"Ander Herrera, Kherer and Draxler will not be available for tomorrow,” said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel at a press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Toulouse on Sunday.
There was no mention of Neymar in the list of those ruled out. The Brazilian player is fit and ready to play his first game of the new season, however the German boss has been told that until Neymar’s situation is clarified, he will not be allowed to pick him.
Asked about the Brazilian striker, Tuchel said: “He has trained well, has worked to recover from his discomfort and is physically fit to play, but the club has been clear. If the situation is not resolved, he won't play [against Toulouse].”
It is a somewhat strange situation, since not even the coach himself knows whether or not he’ll be able to name Neymar in his squad just one day before the game. PSG already hinted that he would be left out so as to avoid putting him in front of the angry home Parc de Princes crowd, who have already made their feelings known regarding the wantaway star.
There is still uncertainty about the future of the Brazilian striker, who has suitors in the form of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus. Although it seems that the only club that has real intentions to sign him is Barça. However, the Catalan club has so far has not been able to make an offer to satisfy PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi.
Neymar’s impact on PSG team
In his press conference, Tuchel highlighted that the uncertainty about Neymar's inclusion is impacting the team’s preparation for matches.
“The situation is disturbing because it does not help [the team’s preparations], and not because everyone knows that a player like Ney is in focus, everyone is used to this kind of situation. This is normal with the big players,” said the German coach.
Asked if the spotlight on Neymar affects the rest of the team by diverting attention away from the game, Tuchel replied: "Yes and no. Yes because we talk a lot about it. And no because everyone knows that football today is like that.
"A player like Ney always generates interest. Everyone is used to this kind of situation, it happens when he is injured… In each press conference, before and after the games, we talk about him. It’s not the best situation for a club, of course.”
When pushed on whether it could be taken that Neymar is staying if he plays against Toulouse, Tuchel diverted the question. “You’ll have to ask Leonardo (sporting director) or the club,” he said, but added that his participation in the game would essentially depend on the “clarification of his situation.”