Barcelona, Clubs, French Ligue 1, Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Spanish Primera División, Story, Transfers

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Neymar will remain unavailable to him until the Brazil international’s future is resolved, even though he is fit to return to action.

Neymar, 27, did not play a minute of preseason football with the French champions amid heavy speculation linking him with Real Madrid and a return to Barcelona.

Speaking at a prematch news conference on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash at home to Toulouse, Tuchel clarified the situation surrounding Neymar.

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“Neymar is in better shape,” Tuchel said. “He has had a good week with his teammates, working hard with intensity and a good mentality.

“However, the club’s position is clear: while his situation is unclear, he cannot play. If Neymar’s situation became clear tomorrow, then he could play.”

ESPN FC sources have revealed that Barca are pondering including Ousmane Dembele in a potential offer for Neymar, while PSG are considering imposing a decision deadline on the €222 million man after turning down an offer worth €190m from the Catalan giants.

Tuchel admitted that the uncertainty surrounding Neymar is not easy to deal with and compared it to the Brazilian’s injury problems last season.

“Yes, the Neymar situation is unsettling, but it also is not,” he said. “Yes, because we talk about it a lot. A player like him always stirs up interest in today’s football.

“However, everyone is used to this sort of thing, like when Neymar was injured. Every press conference before and after matches was about him. It is not the best situation for a club, though, that is clear. It does not help.”

Tuchel stressed more than once that Neymar could play against Toulouse if the question of his future is put to bed by then, but in the meantime he will respect the decision of the PSG leaders: until a final decision has been made over Neymar’s future, the 27-year-old will not take to the pitch again.

According to ESPN FC sources, Neymar’s potential reintegration to the squad has been discussed between the player and the club in the event that a move away from Parc des Princes does not materialise.

Midfielder and teammate Marco Verratti also faced the press at Camp des Loges on Saturday, and the Italy international stated his desire to see the transfer window close with Neymar still part of the PSG squad.

“Neymar and I are close,” Verratti said. “However, I do not like speaking with him about his future. Obviously, I want him to stay. I would like it to be Sept. 2 tomorrow.”

Verratti also addressed his future when asked about a potential contract renewal, with talks having dragged on for months.

“If I am wanted here, that is not a problem,” he said. “I feel good here and I believe in this project.”

Tuchel confirmed that PSG will be without the injured trio of Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer and Ander Herrera for this weekend’s visit of Toulouse.

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