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'I hug him or I write to him' - Tuchel stresses Neymar bond as PSG striker recovers from injury

12:04 GMT+3 03/02/2019
Neymar Tuchel PSG
The Ligue 1 side are missing their key striker but their coach stresses that the pair have retained their connection during his recuperation

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel has spoken about his close relationship with striker Neymar, stating that he is in regular contact with the injured superstar during his lay-off.

The 26-year-old, who has netted 20 goals in 23 games across all competitions this season, will miss most of the second half of the campaign with a broken foot that rules him out until April.

Tuchel, however, has said that he remains in touch with the Brazil international during his convalescence, stressing that he wants to keep the connection open between the pair.

“When he is at Ooredoo [Training Centre] I hug him, when he is not at Ooredoo I write to him,” he told a news conference.

“So I keep in contact, I show him that I still believe, that I still wait, I show him that I am sad when he's not in the dressing room. I write to him that it's sad when we start to prepare a match without him. And we are joking and we are writing and we are keeping in touch.

“We want to keep in touch with everybody, but we cannot lose the connection to Ney and this is how we try.

“But right now the big focus is on his rehabilitation and the big focus is on every physio and every doctor who's with him and they deserve the biggest credit to bring him hopefully back on the pitch very soon.”

Neymar has seen his tenure and form since arriving at PSG in 2017 pockmarked by injury, though it has not stopped the Brazilian from helping his side to Ligue 1 success.

The former Barcelona man helped lead the club to the top-flight trophy in his first season, as well as the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue for a domestic treble.

He was also a member of their Trophee des Champions-winning squad and won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award for his performances.

PSG next face Lyon on Sunday as they look to make it five straight wins in all competitions, while Tuchel’s side will also begin preparations for their upcoming Champions League clash with Manchester United.