Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel says he doesn’t know what the future holds for wantaway forward Neymar, but that he is trying to convince him to stay at the club.
Neymar has been linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 champions throughout the summer transfer window, with reports over the weekend suggesting that Real Madrid have moved ahead of rivals Barcelona in the race for his signature.
He wasn’t in the squad as PSG hosted Nimes in their first league game of the season on Saturday evening, with Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani leading the line in his absence.
“I have no news on his future,” Tuchel said on French TV show Canal Football Club.
“He is with us. He was very decisive for us. If we lose Neymar, maybe I will not sleep. Because it would be hard to lose him and find another player who can do the same things for us. Maybe no news is good news.
“It's hard not knowing. Because I want him at home. But we have to find solutions without him too.
“I’m trying to convince him to stay. But on the other hand, it's a personal choice. It's between him and the club.”
PSG were without Neymar for the Trophee des Champions against Rennes earlier in August, with Mbappe and Angel di Maria scoring in a 2-1 win.
Should Neymar get the move he has spent the summer angling for, it will be on Mbappe that the goalscoring burden falls – though, with 39 goals and 17 assists in 43 games last season, the World Cup winner isn’t likely to be fazed by this. In fact, he is actively seeking the expectation.
“Mbappé asked for more responsibility,” Tuchel said. “It seemed strange to me, but I know the guy.
“It was clear that he wants everyone to talk about it. He has his personality. Great players are like that.”
Tuchel has been a busy man in the transfer window this summer, even without the constant media attention surrounding Neymar.
Abdou Diallo, Pablo Sarabia, plus Premier League pair Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye have been brought in as the German looks to build a squad capable of making an impression on Europe as well as dominating the French domestic scene.
“I am satisfied with my team,” he added. “We bought players like Herrera and Sarabia, who have good mentalities.
“Diallo also has responsibilities and is brave. And he can play with Gueye or Marquinhos. Gueye is the midfielder we have been missing, yes. He has a good state of mind. It's important to have guys like that.”