'Super difficult' for Neymar to face Man Utd, says PSG boss Tuchel

neymar - CROPPED
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The Paris Saint-Germain boss confirmed yesterday Neymar has began treatment for a metatarsal injury but it could keep him out for several weeks

Neymar is unlikely to play when Paris Saint-Germain travel to Manchester United in the Champions League next month, according to head coach Thomas Tuchel.

The Ligue 1 champions announced the world's most expensive player had suffered a "painful recurrence" of the injury he sustained to his right foot last season after he limped out of this week's 2-0 win over Strasbourg in the Coupe de France.

PSG returned to action in the absence of their star attacker on Sunday, swatting aside Rennes 4-1 as Edinson Cavani hit a brace.

As the match was being played, RMC Sport reported Neymar would not be fit to play in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Old Trafford on February 12.

Tuchel acknowledged this was the most likely outcome, telling Canal Plus: "It's going to be super difficult," he said.

"As I explained [on Saturday] it's too early to talk about a return date. We have to wait for the first week, which is very important, and his reaction to treatment.

"Only after that can we be more precise. But it's going to be super difficult – that's not a secret."

While the likes of Cavani and his fellow weekend goalscorers Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe can deputise for Neymar ably enough, Tuchel's squad is not so amply stocked in central midfield.

Marco Verratti's injury absence and Adrien Rabiot's exile from first-team affairs left Brazilian defenders Marquinhos and Dani Alves to form a central two against Rennes.

It makes the long-mooted signing of Leandro Paredes from Zenit all the more pressing, although Tuchel made light of not getting the deal over the line this weekend as had been expected.

"I've been expecting him already for a few days, but he isn't here," he said.

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"I've been looking in the shower, in the dressing room, in the treatment room, with the goalkeepers… but he isn't there."

Before the United showdown, PSG face two tough league games against Lyon and Bordeaux.

Their win on Sunday moved the Parisians 13 points clear of second-place Lille, yet PSG have two games in hand and could extend that margin to 19 points.