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'There are negotiations' - Tuchel confirms Areola transfer talks amid Real Madrid links

6:02 AM GMT+8 31/08/2019
Alphonse Areola PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2019-20
The goalkeeper looks likely to leave to Parc des Princes before Monday's European transfer deadline

Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has confirmed the club are in talks over the transfer of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola after he was left out of the starting line-up for Friday’s match against Metz.

The 26-year-old was only named on the bench for the Ligue 1 encounter at the Stade Saint-Symphorien with 19-year-old Marcin Bulka, who joined the club from Chelsea this summer, making his debut for the club instead.

That sparked speculation about Areola’s future at the French champions amid reports Real Madrid are in talks over a deal for the France international.

When asked before the game whether Areola had played his last game for the club, Tuchel told beIN SPORTS: "(That’s) possible, yes. There are negotiations between clubs and Alphonse. That's why he decided to not play.”

Media reports claim that Real are ready to bring Areola to Santiago Bernabeu in an exchange deal involving Keylor Navas.

Areola is believed to be keen on making a loan move to act as Thibaut Courtois' deputy, a role Navas is no longer willing to fulfil.

A swap deal therefore would suit all parties, with Navas moving permanently in order to secure regular first-team football in the French capital.

Areola’s absence from the team on Friday suggests a deal may be close, with the European transfer window closing on Monday.

On the pitch, PSG made it three wins from four in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 victory to go top of the table.

First-half goals from Angel Di Maria and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, his third in two matches, sealed all three points for Tuchel’s men.

However, the game was overshadowed when the referee had to pause play during the first half when home fans unfurled a banner sporting a homophobic message.

The match was delayed for around five minutes until the offending words were removed from sight and the referee allowed the game to continue.

It is the second time in just three days that such a measure has been deemed necessary as the French top flight attempts to crack down on discrimination from fans with a zero tolerance policy.

On Wednesday, Nice's clash with Marseille was also held up while two homophobic signs appeared in the stands.