Berbatov is Monaco's Ibrahimovic, says Blanc

The PSG coach is a big fan of the former Man Utd striker and praised his ability on the ball as his side prepare to face him on Sunday

Laurent Blanc says Dimitar Berbatov is as important to Monaco as Zlatan Ibrahimovic is to his Paris Saint-Germain side ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between the two teams.

The ex-Manchester United and Tottenham striker shone in the midweek Champions League win over Arsenal, as Leonardo Jardim's side stunned the Gunners 3-1 at the Emirates in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Berbatov scored his side's second and led the line superbly and PSG boss Blanc paid tribute to the attacker's talents ahead of the crunch domestic clash.

"Berbatov is very important for Monaco as he is very strong technically, clever positionally and allows the team to move forward up the pitch," he said at the pre-match press conference.

"He is a significant player who brings calm to his team because he rarely loses the ball and uses it wisely all the time. Berbatov is an important player for Monaco, as Ibrahimovic is for us."

The future of Brazilian defender Marquinhos has again come under the microscope this week, with the centre-back reportedly unhappy at having to operate at right-back as Thiago Silva and David Luiz occupy the two roles at the heart of the back four.

The 20-year-old has still featured 25 times in all competitions, but rarely in his preferred position, although Blanc was quick to dismiss suggestions he could depart, saying he expects the former Roma starlet to grow in stature at the club.

"We did everything to keep Marquinhos and extend his contract," the coach added. 

"We have been showing him that he is very important and we are not ready to let him go. He is strong everywhere he plays and he is only 20.

"He is the third most used player in the squad and people still say we don't use him enough. Having players like him is very significant for a coach. Can he become a monster like Thiago Silva? He has the potential to become a very good defender. He already is, but he still has room for improvement."

The loss of Lucas Moura to injury has hit PSG hard, with the forward arguably the club's star performer before succumbing to an abductor injury that has required surgery and will likely keep him out for at least four weeks.

However, Blanc remained upbeat and said it was important the Brazil international looked to the future and helping the team in the crucial final weeks of the season.

"Lucas is doing very well," said the ex-France boss.

"He did have surgery and you never have an operation with a smile. He will need to be helped as he is in a difficult moment - the exciting matches and selections are arriving with Brazil, but he will not participate. He is understandably a bit down, but we have to help him as he will be important for the end of season."