Paris Saint-Germain face a striking crisis with Kylian Mbappe ruled out for four weeks and Edinson Cavani for three weeks after both came off injured in Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing of Toulouse.
France’s World Cup 2018-winning superstar Mbappe hurt his left hamstring doing a trademark sprint at Parc des Princes.
The issue means he will be absent for their opening Champions League group game, which is set for September 17 or 18. The 20-year-old will also be unavailable to Les Bleus for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra early next month.
Fellow attacker Cavani hurt his hip in the same match and the Ligue 1 holders confirmed the Uruguay international will be out for three weeks, meaning he could be ready for European action.
The problems come at the same time as uncertainty surrounds the future of Brazil forward Neymar.
The Brazilian has sat out the opening three Ligue 1 fixtures because of his desire to return to La Liga. But there is only a week left before the European transfer window closes, meaning former club Barcelona and Real Madrid must move fast.
Even if the 27-year-old remains in Paris, he’s banned for their first three UCL fixtures.
Neymar’s future in Paris took another twist on Sunday after both Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe hobbled off injured in Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-0 thrashing of Toulouse.
The Ligue 1 champions bounced back from a shock defeat to Rennes on the opening day but were left to count the cost with Uruguayan frontman Cavani and French hitman Mbappe both coming off.
Should either or both face a lengthy spell on the sidelines, PSG may well reconsider any willingness they might have for letting Neymar leave the club in the final days of the transfer window. And new midfielder Idrissa Gueye is among those who hopes the Brazilian will stay in Paris.
“I have no idea if he will stay,” said the Senegalese, who arrived this summer from Everton.
“For me it’s a pleasure to play alongside great players like him. Any team would like to have a player like him.
“I’m not sure what’s going on between him and the club. But as a player, he’s a great guy who bring a great atmosphere in the locker room and does the right things on the pitch during training.”
Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel reiterated his desire to keep Neymar at the club after seeing both Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe hobble out of Sunday night’s 4-0 win over Toulouse.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who replaced Cavani barely 10 minutes into the match, chose a good time for his best display in a PSG shirt as he scored two and played a key role in Mathieu Goncalves’ unfortunate own goal, but it could still prove a costly night for the champions.
Cavani left the pitch clutching his thigh while Mbappe pulled up while running down the channel and reached for his hamstring.
“I cannot give details yet about the injuries of Cavani and Mbappe,” Tuchel said on Canal+. “We do not yet know if it’s serious and if they will miss the Champions League.”
Asked if the situation increased the need for clarity over the future of Neymar, currently sidelined but repeatedly linked with a return to Barcelona or a move to Real Madrid, Tuchel said: “Leonardo (sporting director) knows very well that I want to keep Neymar.
“The situation is not clear and must be closed as soon as possible. He is a great player and he is very important to us.”
PSG, who suffered a shock loss to Rennes last week, still looked off their game for much of the first half but – after an incredible solo effort from Choupo-Moting early in the second half – they found some rhythm and soon put the result beyond doubt.
“We played a lot of balls in the opposing area, we played well with a lot of seriousness and intensity,” Tuchel said. “The result is deserved.
“Choupo-Moting was incredible. He is a player who can help us. He does not play his favourite position but he has quality and I hope now he has a lot of confidence.”
Marquinhos headed in PSG’s fourth seven minutes from time, but Tuchel had hoped to keep the 34-year-old Brazil international on the bench, only for Abdou Diallo to limp off five minutes before the break.
“He was used too much in the early matches,” Tuchel said. “Without (Thilo) Kehrer’s injury he should have been on the bench in Rennes. He is playing like a 25-year-old even if he is not 25.
“We must respect recovery periods. He is amazing and gives everything during training, but this is not the time for me to take risks.”
Provided by Press Association Sport